HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Hanover County School Board passed a new book ban policy, granting itself full discretion to decide whether or not to remove certain books from school libraries.
Board members approved the new school library policy in a 5-2 vote during Tuesday night’s meeting. In addition to granting board members full discretion, the new policy will also allow residents to submit a challenge for books to be removed.
“The School Board at its sole discretion and by majority vote of the School Board may remove any and all materials of its choosing from the library, classroom, school building(s) and or division,” the policy reads. “Likewise, the School Board at its sole discretion and by majority vote of the School Board may include any and all materials of its choosing in the library, classroom, school building(s) and or division.”
If the majority of the board approves, a book can be removed without input from parents, teachers or any other authority.
In addition to the policy vote, the board unanimously voted to remove 19 books at last night’s meeting. Here are the books that were banned unanimously:
- A Court of Mist and Fury
- A Court of Silver Flames
- All Boys Aren’t Blue
- Let’s Talk About It
- Looking for Alaska
- Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
- Red Hood
- The Bluest Eye
- This Book is Gay
- Water For Elephants
During public comment, supporters of the policy said they were concerned by the content of some books currently in school libraries. Opponents of the policy raised concerns over the ambiguity of certain definitions in the policy like “vulgar” and questioned the qualifications of school board members to make such decisions.
Both supporters and opponents called for the board to delay the vote and rework the policy to better suit teachers, students and school families.