The fight continues in Wisconsin where parents are calling to ban (and possibly burn) books from a public library. This time they face a library board friendlier to their cause, now that the four pro-First Amendment members weren’t reinstated.
CNN reports that parents who object to a list of 82 books in the young adult section, including The Perks of Being a Wallfower, “are gearing up for another go at the library, in part because the board now has its four new members.”
See our blog posting (from May 20th, 2009) below for more info and for ways to help protect these books!
Council upholds punishment for members who refused to ban books, and a call to burn books!
(Posted May 20, 2009)
On Monday night, The West Bend Common Council voted for a second time not to reinstate four members of the library board because of their views. The Council upheld its April 21st decision because of the board members’ refusal to remove controversial books from the young adult section of the library prior to a formal review. The board members are accused of promoting “the overt indoctrination of the gay agenda.” The challenged books include Baby Be Bop by Francesca Lia Block, The Geography Club by Brent Hartinger, and Stephan Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Adding fuel to the fire, the Christian Civil Liberties Union (CCLU) in April filed a legal claim against the city of West Bend, Mayor Kristine Deiss, and the West Bend Library Board and Library Director. The CCLU claims the books have damaged its plaintiffs mentally and emotionally. And, they want a real fire: their final demand is not only to remove the books from the library but to destroy them in a public burning. You can’t make this stuff up.
So, to recap, we have:
- Library board members pushed out for their political/social views.
- A lawsuit against public officials for doing their job.
- Calls for a bonfire – of books. (And you thought Fahrenheit 451 was fiction!)
And, that’s even before the challenged books have been reviewed.
When the library board finally gets to review the books, they should do so using the objective process required by library policies and the First Amendment. We certainly hope they won’t use matches.
Take Action: Check out the West Bend Parents for Free Speech http://westbendparentsforfreespeech.webs.com/ have created a petition. Show your support for the library board members here: http://www.petitiononline.com/wbfree/petition.html