ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — There have been more than 200 cases of public school districts in Florida banning books since last July, the third-highest number of incidents of any U.S. state, according to a report by a group of defense of professional writing.
PEN America said in the report this week that Florida had 204 book ban cases across seven school districts between July 2021 and March 2022. Only Texas and Pennsylvania had higher numbers.
School districts were in Brevard, Clay, Flagler, Indian River, Orange, Pinellas and Polk counties.
PEN America has also warned that more books could be banned in Florida in the future now that Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law a bill that makes it easier for parents to challenge books and educational materials they don’t approve of. not. Proponents of the legislation say it allows parents to be more involved in their children’s education.
The report says that in Orange County, home to Orlando, principals pulled books without following their own processes. In neighboring Polk County, 16 books have been put under ‘quarantine’ as authorities move to permanently ban them after a conservative national advocacy group, not a local parent, flagged them as problematic, according to the report.
Books banned in Florida school districts, whether permanent or pending review, include:
- “House of the Spirits” by Isabel Allende
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- “The Rape of Nanjing” by Iris Chang
- “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer
- “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- “Beloved” by Toni Morrison
PEN America is made up of novelists, journalists, editors, poets, essayists, playwrights and editors.