WASHINGTON, D.C. – Independent Women’s Forum’s Education Freedom Center responds to this year’s “Banned” Books Week (October 1-7), an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) that promotes controversial and explicit books.

The graphic novel “Gender Queer,” for example, contains illustrations of masturbation, oral sex, sex toys, erections, and a man holding a penis. Although “All Boys Aren’t Blue” has appeared in middle school classrooms and libraries, the book includes detailed descriptions of sex and a sexual assault. “This Book is Gay” provides sexually explicit instructions and drawings and encourages readers to use sex apps.

Ginny Gentles, director of the Education Freedom Center at Independent Women’s Forum, issued the following statement:

“There are no blanket bans on books in our country. The most challenged books featured in “Banned” Books Week materials are readily available in school libraries, public libraries, and bookstores across the country.

“Parents and community members have drawn attention to the so-called ‘banned’ books due their sexually explicit content. Parents are understandably concerned about libraries offering books that school board members admit are too explicit to be read aloud at public meetings.

“Parents have the right to raise concerns about library and classroom books. Children are not mere creatures of the state, and parents do not simply turn children over to government schools with the assumption that the school will make every decision—without parental input—on what the child will read. When parents see the American Library Association, the organizations that bestow awards upon aggressively woke and sexually explicit books, and the school librarians purchasing and featuring developmentally inappropriate books, parents can and should speak up.”

Nicole Solas, a senior fellow at IWF’s Education Freedom Center, said in a statement:

“The ‘Banned Books Week’ hoax gaslights children out of a meaningful understanding of the First Amendment and cultivates civic ignorance because censorship isn’t happening. This lie only robs children of exactly what ‘Banned Books Week’ claims to support — the ability to think critically and challenge government authority. Selecting age-appropriate books for children is part of the American Library Association’s guidance for school librarians. Excluding an inappropriate book from a school library is not a book ban according ALA’s own guidance. But now, requests to reconsider pornography in school libraries function as a cudgel to retaliate against parents protecting their children from unfettered access to pornography. Libraries need to leave the ALA like school districts left the NSBA.”

Learn more about the Education Freedom Center’s work to advance transparency in classrooms and expose radical curriculum content HERE.

Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended but actually enhance people’s freedom, opportunities, and well-being.
IWF’s Education Freedom Center (EFC) advances school choice and empowers parents by advocating for a more vibrant education marketplace. The EFC informs the public about the benefits of education freedom and highlights school choice as a solution to the power imbalance between parents and unresponsive school districts.