A Pennsylvania school district bans a GWC book series, and is met fierce with resistance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 6, 2022
By Fabiha Khanam
The Central York School district in Pennsylvania put a temporary ban on the Girls Who Code Book Series. The series, which follows a girls’ coding club, was reportedly banned in all classrooms within the school district. According to a Business Insider report, the Girls Who Code books were banned for a 10-month period, spanning from November 2020 to September 2021. In an interview with Newsweek, however, a representative from the district claimed that the books “remained in circulation” and accessible in their libraries during this period. The school district was also criticized last year for banning resources such as “I am Rosa Parks'' by Brad Meltzer, a documentary film about James Baldwin, and perspectives highlighting the experiences of LGBTQ+ people and people of color. However, after a period of resistance from students and parents, the ban on these materials was reversed.
In an instagram statement, The Founder of GWC, Reshma Saujani, added that “All across the country, groups like Moms for Liberty are leading efforts to ban books representing diverse perspectives, driving an extremist far-right agenda to control and oppress girls, women, people of color, LGBTQ+ communities, and anyone that does not maintain the white supremacist patriarchal status quo. We won't go backwards.”
Moms for Liberty is a conservative non-profit organization based in Florida that worked to implement initial bannings in the Central York district. The group has also been allegedly criticized for offering compensation to people that "catch" teachers introducing texts or lessons that undermine a New Hampshire law which minimizes discussions of race and diversity.
Director of Media Relations, Ifeoma Okwuka, added that “Organizations like Moms for Liberty pose a threat to marginalized communities everywhere, and should be held accountable. In tolerating the banning of diverse perspectives, we create an atmosphere conducive to widespread ignorance and apathy. This is not only a matter of upholding representation in our media, but also protecting the right to freedom of expression enshrined in our First Amendment.”
Resources to speak against book bannings include: