Florida bans more books from its public school libraries and classrooms than any other state in the country, according to a new report from PEN America released on Thursday.
Book bans have been surging across the country, but in Florida, school boards across the state have been purging their shelves following the direction of Gov. Ron DeSantis.
PEN America, along with Penguin Random House publishing, select authors and parents of children enrolled in Florida’s Escambia County School District filed a federal lawsuit against the district and its board May 17 requesting banned books and those under review be returned to library shelves.
Virginia is among the top 10 states in book banning conflicts, according to a PEN America study. There, the ongoing battle has led most recently to a state judge throwing out a decades-old state obscenity law that had the effect of imposing a prior restraint on book distributors. And it stirred widespread opposition including one of the largest booksellers in the nation, Barnes & Noble.
The seriousness of the stabbing attack which cut his neck, liver and severed nerves in his arm, didn’t deter Rushdie from offering some ideas to PEN America about which readings of his the writers, editors and artists might deliver in front of a crowd of hundreds listening on the library steps for the #StandWithSalman event Friday morning.
While there may exist some disagreement as to whether raising penalties for crimes associated with rioting violates the First Amendment, there is at least one provision in the Kentucky bill that is explicitly unconstitutional.
Watch the full video interview between writer Salman Rushdie and human rights advocate and PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel as they discuss today's most pressing free speech issues, including the monopoly of social media giants and the rise in global attacks on free expression.
Join us for a conversation on February 10th with Nora Benavidez on how journalists and readers can help slow the spread of misinformation and restore public trust in news. The Q&A is part of our #FAWPublicForum event series, a monthly conversation with First Amendment experts on contemporary free speech issues.