I greatly appreciated the Morning Sentinel’s March 1 front-page story, “Librarians, educators fight proposal,” which described the opposition raised to Sen. James Libby’s bill to ban certain books deemed inappropriate from Maine school libraries.

By putting forward statewide legislation Libby’s effort to protect students results in taking away the rights of local school boards and communities to decide what books they think protect kids and what books could harm them.

I think all of us want to protect our children. However, my concern is for the student who is gay or transgender; who feels alone and isolated and for whom reading a book that describes what they are going through as something kids all over are going through, could be a lifesaver.

We know that the suicide rate among gay and transgender kids is substantially higher than for other kids. We know that feeling isolated and misunderstood are core conditions that promote suicidal thinking. Taking these books out of the library is a harmful act to those kids. Let’s not let the urge to protect children, lose sight of all the children we wish to protect.

And the bill would criminalize teachers and librarians who did not abide by it with a class C felony. If you are looking for something truly inappropriate, look no further.

Emanuel Pariser


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