ACLU of Missouri has issued a statement on action at the special meeting held by the Wentzville Board of Education on February 25, 2022, to rescind their decision to remove the Bluest Eye by Toni Morison.
"This is welcome news, but the fact remains that six books are still banned. And Wentzville's policies still make it easy for any community member to force any book from the shelves even when they shamelessly target books by and about communities of color, LGBTQ people and other marginalized groups," stated Anthony Rothert, Director of Integrated Advocacy of ACLU of Missouri. “Access to The Bluest Eye was taken from students for three months just because a community member did not think they should have access to Toni Morrison’s story.”
ACLU of Missouri filed a lawsuit on February 15, 2022, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on behalf of Wentzville school district students, to stop the removal or restriction of books presenting the viewpoints of racial and sexual minorities.
“At its core, the first amendment protects the right to share ideas and that includes the right of people to receive information and knowledge. We must protect this right in schools, especially the right of students to access a diversity of viewpoints about race and gender.”
At the time of the lawsuit filing, the Wentzville School Board had banned All Boys Aren’t Blue by George Matthew Johnson; Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel; Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero; Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon; Invisible Girl: A Novel by Lisa Jewell; Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison; Modern Romance: An Investigation by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg; and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.
ACLU of Missouri: Mary Barber, 314.494.6952