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South Carolina school district reviews, returns books after ban attempt

Started by Jessica_Rose, March 04, 2024, 07:44:09 AM

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South Carolina school district reviews, returns books after ban attempt

Story by Scott Pelley (3 March 2024)

Beaufort, South Carolina, is proud of its literary heritage, the home to the late author Pat Conroy and his stories of the Lowcountry. So, when a few parents and residents pushed to ban nearly a hundred books from public school libraries, there was fierce debate.

Those in favor of a ban wanted 97 books removed from schools in Beaufort County, saying they were concerned about language, depictions of sexual assault, drug use, violence and sex. The district already had a policy in place allowing parents to keep their children from reading certain books, explained high school librarian Karen Gareis, who pointed to the county's opt-out form.

"Parents have the right to determine what their children are taught and what they're allowed to read. No doubt about it," Geier said. "But what we're having a problem with is parents that want to determine what other parents' rights are for their children to read what they want."

Beaufort asked residents to read and review all the books.

The final panels met in late November and the last school board vote took place in December. Five books were banned, and the rest were returned to library shelves. Some were approved to be in middle and high schools, while others were approved for high schools.

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