Today’s Solutions: March 03, 2024

Last month, the board of the Wentzville School District of St. Louis, Missouri voted to ban Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison’s novel, The Bluest Eye from school libraries. This came after a handful of parents requested the book be banned, citing themes of racism and child abuse. 

Now, after a lawsuit over an infringement of first amendment rights, The Bluest Eye is once again available in high schools in the Wentzville school district. 

A victory for free speech 

The reaction against the initial ban of The Bluest Eye was quick and substantial. Opponents to the ban found it to be against first amendment rights. Support against the ban was taken up on social media and also by a number of organizations who directly addressed the Wentzville school board. 

“We encourage you to reexamine the depth of your commitment to education in the truest sense, and to find your courage in the face of baseless political grandstanding at the expense of educators and students in your district,” the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the Missouri Library Association wrote to the board. 

Taking up the fight for the First Amendment, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri sued the school district. The board revised its thinking and revoked the ban, letting Morrison’s novel and Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero be read in schools. 

Other books remain banned, however. 

“Wentzville’s policies still make it easy for any community member to force any book from the shelves even when they shamelessly target books by and about communities of color, LGBTQ people and other marginalized groups,” said ACLU official, Anthony Rothert.

Public involvement, a check for civil liberties

While it is a parent’s prerogative to choose what their child reads, it goes too far to ban a book entirely for a community. Some may manage to ban books in certain school districts, but the ability for communities to rally against such censorship and fight for free speech has never been stronger. 

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

This is your brain on music

Music does something to humans like no other animal. The rhythm gets inside our bodies and we can’t help but move along with the ...

Read More

Recruiting kombucha in the fight for sustainable drinking water

We’ve previously reported about the use of kombucha for a number of innovative reasons. Like stylish compostable shoes, sustainable wood alternatives, and as the ...

Read More

How a group of islanders is using AI to save coral reefs

Coral reefs are some of the planet’s most biodiverse ecosystems, providing not only a key habitat for many species of marine life but also ...

Read More

Opting out: 4 alternative movements to redefine Black Friday

Right now, the Black Friday shopping festivities are undoubtedly engulfing our screens and storefronts. It's easy for consumerism to take center stage, but nonetheless, ...

Read More