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Inclusive values include books and libraries

I’m running for re-election to the Fayetteville School Board to support ALL students, ALL staff members, and ALL families. For these reasons, I am deeply concerned by widespread and coordinated efforts to ban books from public schools.

We know from history that book banning is a dangerous and slippery slope. I believe that while every parent has the right to choose which books are appropriate for their own children, no community member should single-handedly make that choice for all parents and children.

Fayetteville Public Schools’ policy allows for book challenges. When a book is challenged, the district forms a committee of professional educators to assess the age-appropriateness of the book. These educators review the content of the material and make a recommendation to the school board about whether to keep the book on the shelves or remove it.

This policy was tested in late 2022 when the book And Tango Makes Three was challenged. The committee recommended to the board that we keep the book on our library shelves, and the board quickly agreed.

One of the tragic things about the heightened politicization of public education over the past couple of years is that educators and librarians feel a target on their backs. It is important that school district leaders demonstrate support for our staff during these politically polarizing times.

In my second term, I will continue to advocate for Fayetteville’s inclusive values while working to support ALL of Fayetteville’s children, families, and staff.

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