Source: Alamance News
The Alamance-Burlington Schools superintendent’s removal of the LGBTQ+ book, “Gender Queer” is the latest in a series of books and material being challenged by conservatives. Despite calls from employees and parents to keep LGBTQ+ books within the school’s library weeks ago, Alamance-Burlington superintendent Dain Butler removed the book following a review of a targeted book list from a group called the FACTS 2.0 Task Force.
The FACTS 2.0 Task Force, a name taken from North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson’s FACTS Task Force, who made headlines for its controversial portal that garnered hundreds of submissions complaining about the “lieutenant governor’s effort as a shameful political witch hunt”.
According to The Times-News, Alamance’s chapter shares similar rhetoric, with a focus on removing a list of books from the Pavement Education Project, a statewide group attempting to remove LGBTQ+ books.
Reportedly, the group had not read all the books on the removal list.
The book’s removal echoes similar challenges and removals by Republicans across the U.S., with 1,586 books banned in classrooms from July 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, according to a report from PEN America. These bans have impacted over 2 million students in 2,899 schools across the nation.
In North Carolina, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson along with other state Republicans have been vocal about censoring classrooms and banning books in school districts. Most notably, Robinson has led right-wing parent groups in targeting “Lawn Boy,” “Gender Queer” and other books featuring LGBTQ+ protagonists for removal from school classrooms.
Earlier this year, a poll found that most Americans disagreed with Republicans’ campaign to ban books and censor discussions on race in classrooms. Over 85% of Americans don’t support banning books from schools if they contain political ideas they disagree with, according to the CBS-YouGov poll.