FORJ panel addresses banned books, points toward awareness


Dea Pence

NESPA Winner: Localizing, 2023

Newtonite,Newton North High School, Newtonville, MA

Amid controversy and legislative attempts to ban certain literature in schools across the country, Newton Families Organizing for Racial Justice (FORJ) analyzed the impact that these decisions have on students’ education on a Zoom webinar Wednesday, March 30.

The panel of NPS educators, led by principal Henry Turner, also featured Lorena Germán, Chair of the National Council of English Teachers and the Committee Against Racism and Bias. Germán shared a presentation highlighting how the book banning process fuels the dismissal of certain perspectives, including those on gender, race, and sexual orientation.

“When you ban their books, you ban voices,” she said.

Germán went on to showcase pictures depicting a number of authors often taught in classrooms, books not challenged or banned. The images consisted predominantly of white males.


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