#BooksNotBans: GLAAD joins 400+ organizations and individuals to stand against school censorship

By |
December 8, 2021

 GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to a powerful statement of support against efforts to ban LGBTQ-inclusive books and books about race and racism. The statement, from the National Coalition Against Censorship, is the first national collective response to the wave of attempted book bans in at least a dozen states, and the coordinated targeting of library and school board personnel, via personal threat and attempts to co-opt law enforcement in the bans. 

GLAAD and more than 400 groups and individuals representing writers, educators, artists, racial and social justice advocates, booksellers and publishers have signed onto the statement. GLAAD is also coordinating a social media campaign, #BooksNotBans, and providing a media guide for reporters to accurately report on the efforts to ban books and their illegality, as well as background on the national anti-LGBTQ groups coordinating and funding these actions. 

Read the entire letter below, followed by the initial list of signatories that signed before its publishing on Wednesday, December 8th, 2021. The signatories will also be updated regularly on the National Coalition Against Censorship website here.

Coalition Statement: The Attack On Books In Schools

In communities across the country, an organized political attack on books in schools threatens the education of America’s children. These ongoing attempts to purge schools of books represent a partisan political battle fought in school board meetings and state legislatures. The undersigned organizations and individuals are deeply concerned about this sudden rise in censorship and its impact on education, the rights of students, and freedom of expression. 

Nearly all communities have developed policies for both handling book challenges and allowing parents to influence their own child’s reading, but they must do so within the guideposts set forth by the Supreme Court, without infringing on the rights of other students. The law clearly prohibits the kind of activities we are seeing today: censoring school libraries, removing books–and entire reading lists–based on disagreement with viewpoint and without any review of their educational or literary merit. Some would-be censors have gone even farther, threatening teachers, school librarians, authors, and school board members with criminal charges and even violence for allowing students access to books.

Libraries offer students the opportunity to encounter books and other material that they might otherwise never see and the freedom to make their own choices about what to read. Denying young people this freedom to explore–often on the basis of a single controversial passage cited out of context–will limit not only what they can learn but who they can become. 

Books help students connect with characters whose stories reflect their own lives. They also widen their view of a changing world that embraces diversity and multiculturalism. But there is always resistance to change. So it is not surprising that most of the books that are being attacked address concerns of groups previously underrepresented in libraries and school curriculums: books about lived experiences of racism or of growing up LGBTQIA and experiencing bias, discrimination, hate and even violence.  

The First Amendment guarantees that no individual, group of individuals, legislator, community member, or even school board member can dictate what public school students are allowed to read based on their own personal beliefs or political viewpoint.

It is freedom of expression that ensures that we can meet the challenges of a changing world.  That freedom is critical for the students who will lead America in the years ahead. We must fight to defend it.

Organizations

National Coalition Against Censorship
American Booksellers Association
American Civil Liberties Union
American Library Association
American Society of Journalists & Authors (ASJA) First Amendment Committee
Arizona English Teachers Association
Association of American Publishers
Athlete Ally
Austin Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Basic Rights Oregon
Campaign for Southern Equality
Children’s Literature Association
Color of Change
Colorado Council for the Social Studies
Colors+
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
Common Cause Ohio
Defending Rights & Dissent
Delaware Stonewall PAC
Equality Federation
Equality Florida
Equality Illinois
Equality Ohio
Equality Texas
EveryLibrary
Family Equality
Fight for the Future
Free Speech Coalition
Freedom Oklahoma
Garden State Equality
Georgia Equality
GLAAD
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
Government Information Watch
Heartland Institute for Transformation
International Council of Teachers of English
International Literacy Association
Iowa Council of Teachers of English
Kaleidoscope Youth Center
Kansas Association of Teachers of English
KidLit TV
Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library
Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund
Library Futures
Literary Cleveland
Maine Council for English Language Arts
Marathon Entertainment
Matthew Shepard Foundation
Meet the Writers, Inc.
Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Council for the Social Studies
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
National LGBTQ Task Force
National Youth Rights Association
New Jersey Council of Teachers of English
New York State English Council (NYSEC)
North Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA)
One WillCo
Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association
PEN America
PEN Children’s and Young Adult Book Committee
People For the American Way
PFLAG National
Prairie Pride Coalition
Prism United
PROMO
SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
Tennessee Equality Project
Texas Council for the Social Studies
The Authors Guild
The Freedom to Read Foundation
The Trevor Project
The Zoyd Group Inc.
TransAthlete.com
Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT)
Transgender Law Center
Uniting Pride of Champaign County
Urban Librarians Unite
Virginia Council for the Social Studies
Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (WALA)
Western Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English
Williamson Strong
Woodhull Freedom Foundation

Publishers and Agencies

Abrams
Beacon Press
Blue Cactus Press
Candlewick Press
DoppelHouse Press LLC
Erin Murphy Literary Agency
Hachette Book Group
How Now Booking
International Publishers
Levine Querido
Little Bee Books
Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.

Macmillan Publishers
Penguin Random House
Scholastic Inc.
Seven Stories Press / Triangle Square Books for Young Readers
Simon & Schuster
Sourcebooks
Steerforth Press & Truth to Power Books

Bookstores

Aaron’s Books, Lititz PA
Avantpop Books
bbgb tales for kids
Bespoke Books and Archives
Blue Willow Bookshop
Bogan Books
Book Heads
BookBar
BookPeople
BookWoman
Browseabout Books
Buffalo Street Books
BYWATER BOOKS
Children’s Book World
City Lights Bookstore
Commonplace Reader
Completely Booked
Copper Dog Books
Copperfield’s Books
Country Bookshelf (Bozeman, MT)

DDG Booksellers
Firefly Bookstore
Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NH
Harvard Book Store
I’m Your Neighbor Books
Katy Budget Books
Lake City Books and Writers Nook
Longs’ Cards and Books
Madison Books
McIntyre’s Books
Narberth Bookshop
Next Page Books & Nosh
Oblong Books
Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, Coffeehouse & Bakery Cafe
Old Firehouse Books
Old Town Books
Postmark Books

Powell's Books
R Bookmark
Rough Draft Bar & Books
Square Books

Talking Leaves…Books
Tattered Cover Book Store
The Astoria Bookshop
The Book House in Dinkytown
The Independent Bookseller, LLC
The King’s English Bookshop
The Literate Lizard Online Bookstore
The Read Queen Bookstore
the river’s end bookstore
Turning The Page
Under the Umbrella Bookstore
Village Books
Weller Book Works
Whitelam Books
Winchester Book Gallery

Individuals

Aaron John Curtis, Writer and Bookseller
Abigail Corfman, Writer
Adriana Durbin, Librarian
Adrianna Cuevas, Author
Aida Salazar, Author, The Moon Within
Aileen Hower, Assistant Professor of Literacy
Akilah Brown, Professor
Alan Fowler, Bookseller
Alan Friedenberg, Educational Consultant
Alex Gino, Author
Alex London, Author
Alex Sanchez, Author
Alexandra Grannis, Retired Teacher
Alexandra Katona, Marketing Consultant
Alexandra Villasante, Author
Alexis Rappaport, Designer
Ali Lesch, Occupational Therapist
Alison Green Myers, Author and Program Director
Allison Burnett, Author
Amber Ford, English Teacher
Amy Bloom, Author and Teacher
Amy Bouch, Teacher, Chartiers Valley Middle School
Ana Siqueira, Author and Teacher
Andrea Beatriz Arango, Author
Andrea Gollin
Andrew Karre, Editor
Andrew Lloyd, Consultant and Filmmaker
Angie Zhao, Events & Social Media Coordinator, bbgb books
Anika Aldamuy Denise, Author
Anita Hannig, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Ann C
Ann Christophersen
Ann Hurwitz, Retired Educator
Anna Bloom, Editor
Anna Brown, Bookseller
Anne Marie Pace, Author
Anne Ursu, Author
Anthony Cookson, Concerned Citizen
Ariana Paliobagis, Bookstore Owner
Ashley Hope Pérez, Author and Educator
Ashley Winstead, Author
Ashlyn Keil
Aviva Orenstein, Professor of Law
Barbara Simon, Head of News and Campaigns, GLAAD
Barbara McClintock, Author/Illustrator
Barbara Perry Morgan, Not-for-profit fundraiser
Barbara Stern, Educator and Psychotherapist
Barry Berry Douglas, Writer/Comedian/Teacher
Becky Anderson, Bookstore Owner, Anderson Bookshops
Becky Eisenberg, Teacher
Benjamin Alire Saenz, Author
Benjamin R. Wellenreiter, Ed.D., Social Studies Teacher Educator
Beth Wladis, Librarian
Betina Hsieh, Associate Professor, California State University Long Beach College of Education, Teacher Education/ Secondary Literacy
Betsy Burton, Bookseller
Betsy Malcolm
Beverly Ingle, Bookstore Owner
Bhawani Venkataraman, Teacher
Brandon Bolyard, Educator
Brian Lies, Author and Illustrator
Brianna Gibson, Teacher
Bridget McCarthy, Editorial Assistant
Bruce Coville, Author
Bud Carter
Carly Hath, Author
Carol Goodwin, Child care provider
Carole Boston Weatherford, Author and Professor
Carter Wilson, Author
Cassandra Whetstone, Educator and writer
Catherine Brennan
Catherine Hong, Critic
Charlotte Huang, Author
Chelsea McPeek, Bookseller
Cheryl Bricker
Cheryl B. Klein, Author and Editor
Cheryl Willis Hudson, Author-Editor of Books for Young People
Chris Barton, Author
Christa Desir, Editor
Christina Soontornvat, Children’s Book Author
Christina Soontornvat, Author
Christina Vega, Publisher
Christoph Berendes
Christopher Mazura, Teacher
Chuck & Dee Robinson, Retired Booksellers
Chuck Hayward, Writer
Cindy Lin, Author
Claire Andrews, Author
Cliff Burke, Author
Colleen Dunn Bates, Writer
Colleen Kepner, Teacher and Author
Cristina Nosti, Bookseller
Crystal Maldonado, Author
Cynthia Harmony, Author
Cynthia Leitich Smith, Author
Cynthia Levinson, Author
Danette Lipten, Retired Teacher
Daniel Aper, University Professor
Daniel Corfman
Daniel José Older, Author
Daniel W. Chartrand, Owner and Bookseller; Water Street Bookstore, Inc.
Daniel Segal
Daria Peoples, Author
Dave Bentlin, Education
David Fury, Writer/Producer
David Goldberg, Sales and Marketing Director, Steerforth Press
David Macinnis Gill, Author
David Misch, Screenwriter
David Rosenbaum, Physician
Deb Lacusta, Writer
Debbi Michiko Florence, Author
Debbie Loren Dunn, Author
Deborah E Cohen, Retired Librarian
Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Author and Illustrator
Deborah Cooper, Former teacher and editor
Deborah Heiligman Author
Deborah Merritt, Retired Professor
Deborah Salyer, Literature Speaker
Devin R. Wilkie, Associate Publisher, Steerforth Press
Dianne Houston, Writer/Director
Diane Reynolds, Reflective Practice Trainer, Org Consultant, Leadership Coach
Diane Stanley, Author/Illustrator
Don Tate, Author and Illustrator
Donna J. Bowman, Author
Dr. Elizabeth Dreier, Retired Teacher, Principal, College Instructor in Education
e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Author & Co-Founder, Never Counted Out
Elana K. Arnold, Author
Elizabeth M Young, Bookstore Owner
Elizabeth Solar, Bookseller
Ellen Hopkins, Author
Ellen Richmond, Bookseller/Bookstore Owner
Ellen Robinson, Poet
Ellen Trachtenberg, Bookseller
Elin Whitney-Smith
Eliot Schrefer, Author
Elliott Owen, Writer/Producer
Elizabeth Levy, Author
Elizabeth C. Segal, member of Bank Street College Children’s Book Committee
Emily Adkins, Social worker
Emily G., Librarian
Emily Luedloff, Publishing Professional
Emma D Dryden, Children’s Book Editorial & Publishing Consultant
Emma Hintzen, Associate Editor
Emma Kawecki, Bookseller at bbgb
Erin Eitter Kono, Author
Erin Matthews, Bookseller
Erin McClary, Editor
Eva Thaddeus, Teacher
Evan Griffith, Children’s Book Author and Editor
Ezra Goldstein, Co-Owner, Community Bookstore
Faith Middleton, Journalist
FJ Khan, Dean Emerita, Bank Street College
Francesca Flores, Author
Gael LeLamer, Book Buyer
Gaia Cornwall, Author and Illustrator
Gayle Pitman, Author
Gayleen Rabakukk, Author
George M Johnson, Author of All Boys Aren’t Blue
Gil Schmerler, Bank Street College of Education, faculty
Gillian Engberg, Consultant, Children’s Books and Media
Ginger Johnson, Author
Gloria Duke, Author
Gloria Koster, Librarian and Author
Hanh Bui, Author
Heather Duncan, Executive Director, MPIBA
Heidi R Kling, MFA, Young Adult Author
Helen Freidus, Educator
Helen A. Harrison, Author
Helene Dunbar, Author
Holly A. Spinelli, Educator
J. Xavier Prochaska, Professor
Jaima Fixsen, Author
James Crossley, Bookseller
James M. Ivy, Entertainer
James Newell, Physician
Jane Tesh, Author
Ms. Jane Thynne
Jane Yolen, Author and Editor
Janet Wong, Author
Janice MacLeod, Author
Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Author and Illustrator
Jason June, Author
Jeanette Bradley Author and Illustrator
Jeffrey Siger, Author
Jeffry W. Johnston, Author
Jen Calonita, Author
Jenn Reese Author
Jenne Abramowitz, Executive Editor
Jennifer Basye Sander
Jennifer Brown, Reviewer
Jennifer Ziegler, Author
Jenny Whitehead, Teacher
Jerry Craft, Author / Illustrator
Jessica Vitalis, Author
Jina Accardo, Literacy Specialist
Jo Knowles, Author and Teacher
Joanne Rossmassler Fritz, Author
Jodi Carmichael, Author
Jodi Turchin, Teacher
Joe Mathieu, Illustrator
Jonathan Krejci
Jonathon Welch, Bookseller
Joseph Anthony, Author
Joseph Bruchac, Doctor
Joseph Schneider, Author and Educator
Josephine Cameron, Author
Josh Funk, Author
Judy Blume, Writer
Judy Blundell, Author
Julie Anne Lindsey, Author
Julie Gribble, Author & Founder of KidLit TV
Julie Lake, Author and Teacher
Julie Swanson, Author
Juliet Menéndez, Author and Illustrator
June Morris, President, Oregon Council for the Social Studies
Juno Dawson, Author
Justin Chanda, Publisher
KA Holt, Author
Kait Ballenger, Author
Karen Adams
Karen L.Butt, Childcare provider, retired teacher, PFLAG member
Karen Goldman
Karen E. Lotz, Publisher and literacy advocate
Karlan Sick, Board President, Literacy for Incarcerated Teens
Kate Messner, Author
Kate Roddy, 
Katherine Cramer, Professor of English Education
Katherine V Wiese, Librarian
Katherine Wakefield, Bookseller, Books & Books
Kathryn Erskine, Author
Kathryn Payne, Teacher, reviewer, member Bank Street Children’s Book Committee
Kathy Ellen Davis, Bookseller and Author
Katie Bayerl, Author
Katie Golding, Author
Kay Baumgartner, Retired
Kayla Cagan, Author

Kelli Estes, Author
Kelly Aldridge, Teacer
Kelly Barnhill, Author
Kelly Grey Carlisle, Author; Associate Professor, Trinity University
Kelly Steiner, NBCT, Middle School Teacher
Kelly Yang, Author
Kenneth Pomeranz, Professor, University of Chicago
Kenny Brechner, Bookstore Owner
Kenzie McDermott, Teacher
Kim Anvinson, College Bookstore Director
Kim Baker, Author
Kim Corfman, Professor
Kimberly Huffman
Kit Little, Owner, Little Extra LLC
Kristin Cashore, Author
Kristin Freda, Librarian
Kristina McMorris, Author
Kyle Lukoff, Author
L. Stern-Kluger, Reading Specialist
Laekan Zea Kemp, Author
Larissa Theule, Children’s Book Author
Laura Barr
Laura Moe, Author and retired librarian
Laura Ojeda Melchor, Author
Laura Rueckert, Author
Laurel Snyder, Author
Laurie Halse Anderson, Author
Laurie Powsner, Psychotherapist
Lawrence Butti, Educator
Lee Wind, Author and Blogger
Leigh Hurwitz, Public Librarian
Leila Sales, Author and Editor
Leo Neufeld, Bookseller
Leonard S. Marcus, Author
Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author
Lesléa Newman, Author
Leslie Davis, Regal Librarian
LeUyen Pham
Lin Oliver, Executive Director, SCBWI
Linda Carver, Business Manager, Independent Bookstore
Linda Colarusso, Educational Adminstrator
Linda Greengrass, Librarian (retired)
Linda Urban, Author
Lindsey Lane, Author
Lisa Goldstein, Librarian
Lisa Holenko, Bookstore Owner and Former Teacher
Lisa Strauch Eggers, Lawyer
Lisa Stringfellow, Author and educator
Linsey Miller, Author
Liz Garton Scanlon, Author
Loree Griffin Burns, Author
Lori Barrientos Sanchez, Director of Operations for Busboys and Poets Books
Lori Keckler, Mom
Lori R Snyder, Author
Lorie Barber, Education Director and Former Teacher
Lou DiMaggio, Writer
Louis Arata, Author
Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Author and Translator
Lynne Cherry
Maia Kobabe, Author
Malinda Lo, Author
Margaret Willson, Author
Maria Ingrande Mora, Author, Fragile Remedy
Maria Vallejo-Nguyen, Reviewer
Marianna Baer, Author/Editor
MarieH Zanzal, Art Educator, Museum Educator, Online Educational Content Creator
Marilyn Ackerman, Retired Librarian
Marilyn Mackel, Retired Professor
Marjie Ino, Office Assistant and Grad Student
Mark Alpert, Author of Young Adult Novels
Mark de Castrique, Author
Mark Nash, Teacher
Martha Brockenbrough, Faculty, Vermont College of Fine Arts
Mary Emily O’Hara, Journalist
Mary Klain, Homeschool mom to 5 kids with 16 years experience
Mary Van Akin, Director of School & Library Marketing, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Mary Winn Heider, Author
Maura McGill, Librarian
Megan Mertens, General Manager, Off the Beaten Path Bookstore
Melanie Conklin, Children’s Author
Melanie Dobbs
Melanie Ferguson, Bookseller
Melanie J. Wirtz, English Teacher
Melinda Greenblat, Librarian
Melissa Cistaro, Author and Teacher
Meridith Breen, NCSS Board of Directors
Mia Garcia, Author
Michael Arndt, Author/Illustrator
Michael Bourret, Literary Agent
Michael Leali, Author and Educator
Michaela Squier
Michelle Bulla, English Teacher, 9-12 Department Chair
Michelle Davis, Educator
Michelle Knudsen, Author
Michele Weisman, Founder and Executive Director of Meet the Writers, Inc.
Mike Allegra
Mike Curato, Author
Mike Jung, Author
Mike Langworthy, Writer/Producer
Mike Royce, TV Writer
Mindy Yuksel, Author
Minna Zelch, Parent
Miranda Paul, Author
Miriam Lang Budin, Retired Head of Children’s Services, Chappaqua Library
Mitchell Eggers
Mitchell Kaplan, President, Books & Books
Molly Ellis, Publishing Professional
Morika Tsujimura, Teacher
Ms. Grace Kendall, Editor
Nadia Salomon, Author
Nalani Thomas
Nancy Balaban
Nancy McKeever, Retired faculty, Graduate School of Education
Nancy Thelen
Naomi Shihab Nye, Writer, Educator, Young People’s Poet Laureate
Natalie Standiford, Author
Nicole Brinkley, Manager at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, NY
Nicole Lesperance, Author
Nicole Maggi, Author
Nicole Sullivan, Bookstore Owner
Nicole Walker, High School Teacher Librarian and Media Specialist
Nikki Grimes, Author, Ordinary Hazards et al
Nikoo McGoldrick, Author
Nina Crews, Author and Illustrator
Nina Jensen, Retired
NoNieqa Ramos, Author
Orel Protopopescu, Author
Oren Teicher, Bookseller
Padma Venkatraman, Author
Pamela S. Turner, Author
Pat Cummings, Author, illustrator, professor
Pat O’Brien, Economic Development/Community Work
Patricia Lakin, Author
Patricia Newman, Sibert Honor Author
Patricia Wiles, Author
Patty Blount, Author
Paul Avery, Professor, University of Florida
Paul Yamazaki, Bookseller
Paula Yoo, Author
Peter Hare, Librarian
Phil Bildner, Author
Phil Davies, Director
Priscilla Royal, Author
Rachael Reiley, MLIS Student, SJSU
Rachel Payne, Librarian
Rachel Wilson, Author & Library Associate
Ray Anthony Shepard, Biographer
Rebecca Laincz, Bookseller
Rebecca Schmidt Castka, Writer
Rebecca Stead, Author
Rhea Brown Lawson, Librarian
Richard Overton
Richard W. Salzman
Rin Chupeco, Author
Rina Heisel, Author
Robert Curtis Brown, Thinker
Robert Liu-Trujillo, Author and Illustrator
Robie H. Harris, Children’s Book Author
Robin Newman, Author
Robin Stevenson, Author
Salima Alikhan, Teacher and Author
Sam Musher School, Librarian
Samantha M Clark, Author
Sandra Scott, Bookseller
Sarah Aronson, Author
Sarah Bagby, Bookstore Owner
Sarah Goddin, Bookseller
Sarah Kopplin, Social Studies Educator & Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies President-elect
Sarah Lynn Baker, Associate Executive Director
Sarah Prager, Author
Scarlett St. Clair, Author
Scott Armstrong
Sean Petrie, Teacher and Author
Serena Sonoma, Regional Media Lead, GLAAD
Shadra Strickland, Author/Illustrator/Professor
Sheila Hamanaka, Children’s Book Author/Illustrator
Sheila Rothgart Browning, Teacher
Shing Yin Khor, Author and Cartoonist
Shirley T. Hailstock, Author
Sierra Godfrey, Author
Stephanie Campisi, Author
Stephanie Feldman, Author
Stephen Bramucci, Author
Stephen Mooser, Author
Steve Skrovan, Writer
Steve Stoliar, Author/Editor/Screenwriter
Steven Wendt, Actor, Performing Artist, Blue Man Group
Stewart Bloom
Sue Macy, Author
Susan F. Joseph, Teacher
Susan Kuklin, Author
Susan Patron, Writer
Susan Sugarman, Professor
Susanna Nawrocki, Buyer
Susanna Reich, Children’s Book Author
Suzanne Grossman, Librarian
Taylor Maccoux, Editor
Tara Lehmann, Publicist
Taryn Souders, Author
TeMika Grooms, Author and Illustrator
Teresa Bueti, Librarian
Teresa Robeson, Author
Thomas Skrovan, Teacher (retired)
Tiffany Colón
Tim J. Myers, Writer and teacher
Tim Shiell, Professor
Todd Stocke, SVP, Editorial Director, Sourcebooks
Todd Sturgell, Author/Illustrator
Tracey Baptiste, Author
Tracey Duncan, Bookseller
Traci Sorell, Author
Tracy Dockray, Librarian and Author/Illustrator
Travis Manning, English Teacher
Tricia Lawrence, Senior Agent, Erin Murphy Literary
Uju Asika, Author
V Zlowery, Concerned Citizen
Vanessa Napolitano, International Students Adviser
Varian Johnson, Author
Veronica Wolff, Author
Vicki Scaggs, Teacher
Violet Lumani, Author
Wendy Pologe, Reader and lover of books
William Alexander, Author
Dr. Zetta Elliott, Author/Educator

Issues: