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North Kansas City students stand up against proposed book ban

NKC Students
Posted at 9:38 PM, Feb 23, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The new battlefield in American public education is the library.

Parents are confronting school boards about titles on shelves across the country and here at home.

This includes at North Kansas City High School, where students stepped to the front of the line.

"You do not scare us, you do not represent us and you will not take our books," Gracie Cates, a senior at North Kansas City High School, said at a recent board of education meeting.

She leads a small group of students in preventing the ban of a list of books.

Among those include George M. Johnson's "All Boys Aren't Blue," a text on the Black queer experience.

"We should be taking in the experiences of people who are different from us and not just dismissing those experiences," Cates said.

Junior Kate Moloney got involved too.

"I gave a three minute speech at a school board meeting and I'm really proud that students at my high school are taking a stand to this and that we're not going to tolerate this," Moloney said.

Cates, Moloney and a few others were hosted by the Kansas City Library Wednesday night, as Johnson discussed his book and keeping those like it in libraries.

"You all can really put the message out there," Johnson told the students. "How your lives are affected by books, but not only that, what your actual lived experiences are."

"I'm extremely concerned about this," Moloney said. "I think we're taking a step backwards in education right now."

Cates said she would continue to advocate for keeping the books on the shelves.

"We as students have an immense power that we just haven't recognized yet, because people really will listen to us if we just come together as one big group and really try to push for what we believe is right," Cates said.