Book bans are soaring in U.S. schools, fueled largely by new laws in Republican-led states

April 23, 2023

“It’s a set of ideas, it’s themes, it's identities, it’s knowledge on the history of our country — these are the kind of bigger buckets of what is being removed, restricted, suppressed in public schools and public school libraries,” Meehan said. According to PEN America, nearly a third of the book bans this school year were the direct result of newly enacted state laws in Florida, Utah and Missouri. But it's very likely that the laws, which are often ambiguous, indirectly led to many more book bans by creating a “chilling effect” in some states, PEN said. Brian Covey said such was the case at his children’s public school in Duval County. The Duval County Public School District did not immediately respond to requests for comment.