Poll: Should All Books Be Allowed In Wyoming School Libraries?
There has been a lot of debate recently across Wyoming about what types of books should be allowed in Wyoming school libraries.
Several school districts have had spirited debates about whether books with explicit sexual content should be allowed in libraries. The argument pits opponents of book bans against parents concerned about children being exposed to graphic sexual content or even what many consider to be pornography.
Wyoming State Superintendant Megan Degenfelder and the Wyoming Department of Education released a guide for policy on the issue earlier this month.
Degenfelder at the time released the following comments:
“When I campaigned across the state of Wyoming for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, there were few issues that I heard about more from citizens than concerns about inappropriate materials and books in schools,” says Degenfelder. “There is absolutely no room in the classroom for inappropriate materials or influences. We must protect our children and we must protect public education.”
KTWO radio (our Townsquare Media Casper outlet) reported that the guide ''suggests libraries adopt a robust, specific policy prohibiting materials with sexually explicit content. Examples include any textual, visual, or audio materials that depict masturbation, sadomasochistic abuse, actual or simulated depictions of sexual contact, or any depictions of human genitals.''
But the article also says the guide "is in no way required by law or to be taken as legal advice."
Those opposed to restrictions on books in Wyoming libraries often argue that limitations amount to censorship and muzzle freedom of speech. They say that censoring books defeats one of the primary purposes of education, which is the free expression of ideas and teaching students to think about unpleasant or difficult issues.
Many opponents of limiting books also argue that books are often targeted simply because they represent viewpoints that some people may not like, particularly in regard to LGTBQ-related topics.
So what do you think? Take our poll and give us your opinion!