For Immediate Release: December 13, 2023
Contact: Bobby Block
The First Amendment Foundation, Florida’s defender of open government and free expression for nearly 40 years, proudly announces the release of Banned Books: A Florida Citizen’s Guide to Legal Rights and Pushback to help people fight against the removal of books from public schools and libraries.
Drawn up in partnership with Foundation 451 and the Florida Freedom to Read project, the 20-page guidebook aims to help individuals and communities navigate the laws that protect free speech as well as those created to challenge titles around the state.
“It’s a practical and pragmatic guide, written in simple language to help people understand the law and resist efforts to remove books from our schools,” said Bobby Block, Executive Director of the First Amendment Foundation. “Controlling what people read, no matter how well-intentioned, ultimately harms us as a society.”
So far, more than 300 books have been removed from Florida public schools, prisons, and other library shelves. These include classics, poetry, history, religious texts, and celebrated stories of our human existence. And more titles are being challenged every week around the state.
“Book bans are a form of censorship,” said Edward Birk, Chair of the First Amendment Foundation. “There are better ways to protect the minds of young people,”
The guidebook is not only a legal roadmap to book challenges, but step-by-step instructions and advice from the founders of Foundation 451, Adam Tritt and Lisa Harrington, about how to set up free-banned book libraries in your communities for students and their families.
“When a government or other institution reduces access to information and replaces it with only what it wants you to know, that is indoctrination,” said Tritt. “It is imperative we send the message, ‘This is unacceptable.’”
Please distribute this book to anyone who you believe may benefit from its content. If you need support or assistance or would like to get involved, contact the First Amendment Foundation at email@example.com or (850) 224-4555.
First Amendment Foundation
*You can now purchase a physical copy of the First Amendment Foundation’s Banned Book Guide, with a new section on talking points and an appendix of easy-to-use links! For only $10 plus shipping, you can have your guidebook delivered by the New Year.
The First Amendment Foundation is a non-profit organization created in 1985 to safeguard free speech, free press, and open government in Florida from being undermined or diluted during changing times. Our purpose is to protect and advance the public’s constitutional right to open government and access to public records for an informed citizenry and strong democracy. Please support our mission with a donation at FloridaFAF.org.