Watch CBS News

ACLU warns Michigan school districts of book bans, urges schools to protect students' rights

Hundreds of Dearborn residents address controversial books
Hundreds of Dearborn residents address controversial books 02:06

(CBS DETROIT) - The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) sent letters to public school districts throughout the state urging them to protect the constitutional rights of students by opposing book bans in school libraries.

The letter, which is being sent to hundreds of school districts, warns that banning books violates students' First Amendment rights.

"Together with public school students and their families all over the state, the ACLU of Michigan is monitoring this situation carefully and will take action if necessary to stop censorship and protect the rights of all children to safe and inclusive learning environments. In addition to threatening the First Amendment rights of all students, this wave of book-banning is an attack on LGTBQ+ children and their families, and it must be stopped. For countless youth who face bullying, isolation, and depression, access to LGBTQ+ representation or information in books and literature can be a refuge — and in some cases lifesaving. School libraries are places where young people should be able to learn about themselves and people who are different from themselves, not denied access to the diverse perspectives that books and literature offer us all," said Jay Kaplan, ACLU attorney.

The ACLU notes that book bans have often been put in place as a way to marginalize underrepresented communities. 

This comes after the book ban in Dearborn gained national attention, after hundreds of residents voiced why they were for or against the book ban at a school board meeting

Here are the six books that people want out of libraries in Dearborn:

  • "Push" by Sapphire
  • "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold
  • "Eleanor and Park" by Rainbow Rowell
  • "Red, White and Royal Blue" by Casey McQuiston
  • "All Boys Aren't Blue" by George M. Johnson
  • "This Book is Gay" by Juno Dawson

The next school board meeting is in November, and parents are asking for the board to adopt a resolution that will allow them more control over how books are vetted before being put into a school's library.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.