A Des Moines metro book ban update
No book ban requests have been made in Des Moines and at least four other metro districts since at least February, school officials told Axios last week.
- That includes Ankeny, West Des Moines, Waukee and Urbandale.
Why it matters: Efforts to remove books is part of a larger cultural war that has been playing out in schools across the nation, Axios’ Russell Contreras reported in January.
- The recent reprieve in local requests is an indication that content controversies have settled down — at least for now.
Catch up fast: About a half dozen or so books have been at the center of the debate, including in the metro.
- Educators could have faced prison time under a bill proposed but not passed by Iowa lawmakers this year.
State of play: Ankeny School District removed "Gender Queer" from its collections late last year.
- Other districts retained the book and multiple other challenged texts.
Yes, but: West Des Moines parent Teri Patrick has appealed to the Iowa Board of Education in her effort to have “Gender Queer” removed from Valley Southwoods Freshman High School.
- The board in August concluded that Patrick doesn’t have the right to challenge the book because her child was not a student at the time she made the complaint.
- A final vote is expected Sept. 15 and Patrick’s attorney has indicated the decision could face further challenges.
The bottom line: There’s still more pages to turn by those pushing to ban certain books.
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