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Students lose access to books amid ‘state-sponsored purging of ideas’

In one Virginia school district this fall, parents will receive an email notification every time their child checks out a book. In a Florida school system, teachers are purging their classrooms of texts that mention racism, sexism, gender identity or oppression. And a Pennsylvania school district is convening a panel of adults to sign off on every title that school librarians propose buying. 

The start of the 2022-2023 school year will usher in a new era of education in some parts of America — one in which school librarians have less freedom to choose books and schoolchildren less ability to read books they find intriguing, experts say. 

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Jen Cousins, right, and Stephana Ferrell, are determined to increase schoolchildren’s access to stories about diverse lives. (Phelan M. Ebenhack for The Washington Post)