Forbidden Fairytales

Florida’s Banned Books and what to expect.


ELA teacher Mr. Devitt’s personal library.

Avery Vance, Contributor

     After two years of a hot debate, Florida schools are deciding whether select books are appropriate for students. In recent months, schools across the peninsula have acted quick and removed many educational classics for assorted reasons.  

     At the beginning of the debate, the overall concern was students reading bad things in their schools’ books, mostly consisting of inappropriate content. Later though, as more bills, like the Don’t Say Gay bill, were passed through Florida Congress, the restrictions grew stricter and stricter. Some of these restrictions included books with LGBTQ+ characters and books that may provoke “evil behaviors or thoughts” to a student reading it. 

     Behind the types of books removed, there were reasons Govenor Desantis, with the help of school boards and the legislative branch of Florida, had these books removed. The start of the purge was a parent who filed a complaint that their child had read a book with evil intent. Later, Desantis came out and said he wanted to remove books with inappropriate materials from school libraries and teachers’ personal libraries. The governor wanted to have “parents’ rights” which focuses on letting parents decide what they want their children exposed to.  

     The decision of restricting literature options in school is an issue brought by many people, whether they are parents, teachers, students, or government officials. It focuses on letting students thrive in an educational without distractions of new and potentially confusing topics brought by some books.  

     A substantial chunk of books that are not allowed in schools have subjects like race, topics of abortion, and hints at sexual orientation. Other books that were banned involve gore and violence that are not age appropriate for the students who may get their hands on the book. 

Some books that are banned include but are not limited to: 

  • Jacobs new dress– Sarah and Ian Hoffman 
  • I am Jazz– Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel 
  • Drama– Raina Telgeimeier 
  • Beloved– Toni Morrison 
  • The Kite RunnerKhaled Hosseini 
  • Tricks (series)- Ellen Hopkins 
  • Lawn Boy– Jonathan Evison 
  • All Boys Aren’t Blue– George M. Johnson 
  • Lucky– Alice Sebold 
  • Living Dead Girl– Elizabeth Scott 
  • Nowhere People– Sally Rooney 
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower– Stephen Chbosky 

     The books listed above are banned in various counties around Florida and if any teacher is found to have this book in a student library, they can be arrested or fined.  

     Many people are personally affected by these new decisions. Student Chloe Johnson said, “I wish I could still read some of my favorite books at school.” another student Samantha Gomez said, “I think some of the books I used to read in elementary school got removed but I don’t know why they got removed.” Lastly, 4th grade teacher Diane Dawson from Charlotte County mentioned that the removal of books is very detrimental to teachers because of the consequences. 

     The topic of banned books is a controversial one among students, teachers, government officials, and voters. Whether you are for or against these decisions, they are being put into place at a fast rate and the decision is made- Florida has a list of forbidden fairytales.