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The Student News Site of Riviera Preparatory School

The Riviera Press

The Student News Site of Riviera Preparatory School

The Riviera Press

The Student News Site of Riviera Preparatory School

The Riviera Press

The Truth about the Book Bans

Florida scrapes over 20,000 books from their public libraries.
Many+of+the+banned+books+are+still+on+the+Rivera+book+shelves.+
Samantha Garcia
Many of the banned books are still on the Rivera book shelves.

When various Florida school districts removed over 300 titles from public schools and libraries, people noticed. Over the last year, there has been a lot of discussion regarding the Florida book ban and its (questionable) reasoning.  Some of the books that were targeted, at one point or another, have been part of our school’s curriculum, including; The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. These books and many other well-known novels have been banned in specific districts in Florida. What was the main reason these bans were implemented, and what were the initial complaints? 

A prominent, conservative group that has imposed a significant ban on books is “Moms for Liberty.” On March 3rd, 2024, “Moms for Liberty” went on an interview with “60 Seconds” regarding the group’s support of the growing book prohibition. When “Moms for Liberty” was asked what ideologies they were trying to avoid by removing these books, the women allegedly avoided the repeated questions. The host, Scott Pelley, said in a voiceover during the interview, “They often dodged questions with talking points.” After listening to the interview, it was clear that Moms for Liberty’s main defense was that they believe that the books they pushed to ban sexualizing children cover topics they claim include LGBT rights, race and ethnicity, critical race theory, and discrimination. 

One of the main catalysts for this movement was the Don’t Say Gay Bill and Florida House Bill 1467, which were passed in March 2022. Clay County used this law to back its ban on 177 titles. A spokesperson from Clay Country, Terri Dennis, also claimed that one resident in that county was responsible for about 94% of the book bans. These book bans were not only driven by the legislature but also by the residents’ distaste for specific books.

After careful investigation of this article, it was evident that none of the titles from the book ban were removed from Riviera, but not every school is as lucky. In early February of this year, a bookstore in Asheville, North Carolina, was asked to take in over 22,000 books that were pulled from Florida’s shelves. Even though they only hold about 8,000 books in their store, they decided to take on the grand project of relocating the banned books—many of them back to our state. 

Despite the fact that 20% of Florida’s population cannot read or write, the state still recognizes the importance of literacy. Florida has addressed this issue by implementing a free educational program called “New World Reading Initiative,” also known as “Just Read, Florida!” This program spans all public schools and aims to increase literacy rates by providing free books or reading materials to any students who read below their grade level.

All in all, reading is an irreplicable skill that translates the world around us, and narrowing our options can discourage avid readers from exploring new narratives and ideas. 

 

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About the Contributor
Samantha Garcia, Writer
Samantha Garcia is a senior and staff writer for the Riviera Press. This is her first year on staff. Samantha’s favorite pastime is scrolling through Instagram or TikTok on her phone. In an effort to challenge herself and explore new horizons, she decided to join Multi-Media Journalism to step out of her comfort zone.
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