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Book bans in schools reach record high, report finds

There were 4,349 book bans during the first half of this school year, according to statistics from PEN America.
Book bans in schools reach record high, report finds
Posted at 12:29 PM, Apr 16, 2024

Book bans appear to be on the rise across American public schools.

There were 4,349 book bans during the first half of this school year, according to July 2023 to December 2023 statistics from PEN America that were released Tuesday.

During the entire 2022-2023 school year, the group recorded 3,362 book bans. These occurred in both red and blue districts.

PEN American is a nonprofit focused on the protection of free expression and keeps track of book bans in 42 states.

The organization has been monitoring book bans for the last two and a half academic years and documented more than 10,000 bans since July 2021.

@scrippsnews Book bans in schools reached a record high in the first half of this school year, according to a new report from PEN America. Here are the states that saw the most bans. #bannedbooks #booktok #educationtiktok ♬ original sound - Scripps News

The most targeted books include topics about sex, sexual violence, abortion, LGBTQ+ and race.

So which states saw the most book bans?

Florida topped the list with 3,135 bans across 11 school districts.

Next was Wisconsin with 481, Iowa with 142, and Texas with 141. Kentucky and Virginia also saw at least 100 bans each.

The American Library Association, which also keeps track of book challenges, found 1,247 demands to censor library books in 2023, a 65% surge compared to 2022.

The association also found that patrons and parents are the two most likely groups to initiate challenges.

SEE MORE: Libraries get insight on how censorship, library access impacts teens


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