Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 9, 2016

This One Summer Pulled From Multiple School Districts In Florida

imageBrigid Alverson is probably the best place to start with the ongoing news story of the award-winning This One Summer being pulled from school libraries in districts in Florida. I'd then move to Maren Williams for the usual, thorough, CBLDF write-up.

You should also watch a regional TV news report on the initial complaint and a follow-up story.

I think it's fair to say the basic storyline here is a mother making a complaint against the Caldecott Honor winning book based on profanity standards for an elementary school collection, local media driving a wider and not-deserved sense of alarm about the book, the combination of which led to removals not just in the original library or library-level, but in multiple libraries including high school collections. More challenges could take place, the process of which can be Byzantine and may even be problematic because except for that first complaint these aren't advocacy-based pulls and there therefore might not be a lot force to a complaint against which anyone can push back.

It's a textbook example how an act of censorship can be built out of policy that's lazy, or that favors a lack of engagement, as opposed to an evil cabal of unpleasant people or politically motivated lawmakers desperate to step between consumer and customer. It can be the difference between slugging it out with General Zod and picking your way through a Kafkaesque system of gentle denial that might disappear if you look away. Both are dangerous.
posted 10:55 pm PST | Permalink

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