Oct 2, 2023 - News

Virginia’s serial book banner

Jennifer Petersen poses in front of books she's sought to ban. Photo: Julia Nikhinson/Washington Post via Getty Images

A Spotsylvania woman who says she grew up hating books has dedicated her life to getting titles with sexually-explicit content removed from school libraries.

Why it matters: Jennifer Petersen is one of 11 adults nationwide who are collectively responsible for 60% of book challenges filed during the 2021-2022 school year, per an analysis by the Washington Post.

By the numbers: So far she's challenged 73 books in Spotsylvania school libraries, a rate of about five per month.

  • As a result, the district has removed about 35 books so far.

What they're saying: Petersen, 48, told the Post she doesn't understand why schools keep books with graphic sex scenes — material she thinks should only be accessible with parental consent.

The other side: Supporters of unfettered access to books in school libraries argue it's unfair to judge an entire book by a few passages or pages.

Go deeper via the Washington Post

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