Across the country there have been efforts to ban books in schools. This is happening here in Washington State, too. We have the chance to ban book bans in public schools by passing SB 6208 and HB 2331.
These bills would prohibit the banning of books or other instructional materials that center diverse experiences and stories and protect access to books under existing anti-discrimination laws. This would include books rooted in the experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community and from People of the Global Majority1.
What would SB 6208 and HB 2331 do?
These bills will support districts in maintaining access to inclusive and diverse educational materials by prohibiting the banning of books or other instructional materials simply because they are related to the contributions of individuals or groups that are part of a protected class. The bills will also require school districts to create a formal process related to a parent’s request for removal of instructional materials.
SB 6208 and HB 2331 will ensure districts have thoughtful policies and processes in place when complaints about instructional materials and books come forward. These bills will align our state’s policies and processes with current anti-discrimination laws for protected classes in public schools.
Support our educators in making professional decisions about the texts, instructional materials and books in their classrooms, and help create an environment of inclusion and support for all our students!
As parents and caregivers, let's let our lawmakers know that our tax dollars should be used to ban childhood poverty, not books. We can make it clear that we do not want to see public funds wasted banning wonderful, educational books like Rosa Parks, Julian is a Mermaid, and Festival of Colors. These books and others on extremists' target list are critical to a well-rounded education, and our taxpayer dollars would be better used to solve the real issues impacting students, parents, and education professionals throughout the state.