On October 16, the ACLU of Virginia sent a letter to Spotsylvania County Public School Board (SCPS) regarding the recent “23 Book Challenges” memo circulated by Superintendent Mark Taylor on October 9, 2023 indicating that Spotsylvania County Public Schools (“SCPS”) will ban 23 books from school libraries on October 13, 2023.
This decision and the reasons for the banning of an additional 23 books further demonstrates a gross misunderstanding of Virginia law as well as the policies and procedures set out by SCPS Board itself.
Even worse, the school district’s actions violate the rights of the parents of the students who attend SCPS schools who want their children to have access to these books.
"By ignoring the many parents who opted into their children’s access to this material and instead removing these books, and by refusing to implement a workable solution to their supposed fears of legal liability, Superintendent Taylor and SCPS betray their real priorities: not to comply with the Law, SCPS Policy IIA-R, or to honor parent’s wishes, but to impose one set of values on the entire student population," stated the letter.
The ACLU of Virginia urged the SCPS Board to use its authority under current Policy IIA-R(G)(10) to enter a final disposition returning the 23 challenged books to its libraries, in accordance with the recommendation of the review committee.
You can read the full letter below.