With school boards and libraries across Florida acquiescing to angry mobs and eagerly over-complying with the new “Don’t Say Gay” (DSG) law, students are being banned from learning LGBT history, stories, and much more.
Banned Books Week was Sept. 18-22, and both organizations seized the moment to bring attention to the increasing number of books being banned under the guise of “protecting children.”
“We are part of this effort with Safe Schools to remind people that books are being banned in Florida schools and Florida libraries,” Robert Kesten, Stonewall’s Executive Director, said. “It’s important for us to stand up and be accountable for what’s going on, for what our supposed representatives are doing in our name that doesn’t represent us or our community and is extraordinarily harmful.”
Safe Schools, in addition to donating physical books that are often banned in schools, is also donating $3,000 to Stonewall so the museum can start offering some E-Books directly from their website. Safe Schools’ Scott Galvin said this project has taken on new urgency after the last couple of years since Republicans in Tallahassee have targeted LGBT youth to score political points.
“There are so many threats against youth in today’s society, LGBT youth in particular. We need to form partnerships with each other and push each other up and support each other.”
Supporters of bans go on cable news and say the books are akin to putting pornography in schools. Kesten said that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“None of them talk about sex in the sense of physical relations between people. They talk about what’s going on in people’s hearts and minds, what’s going on in the psychology of what makes them who they are.”
Tom Lander, Safe Schools’ Board Chairperson, said it’s not just books with LGBT themes or characters that are being banned. 20th-century classics that have been in curriculum for decades are also targeted by the anti-education mobs.
“It’s also books that we’ve grown up with in school even when I was a student. ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ ‘To Kill A Mockingbird,’ ‘Animal Farm,’ and ‘1984’ are being banned in schools and being taken out of the curriculum in the state of Florida.”
The free E-Subscription will be available soon on Stonewall-Museum.org.