Last updated on: 3/6/2024 | Author:

Should Parents or Other Adults Be Able to Ban Books from Schools and Libraries?

The American Library Association (ALA) has tracked book challenges, which are attempts to remove or restrict materials from libraries and schools, since 1990. In 2020, the ALA recorded 156 reported book challenges in the United States, a significant decrease from the 377 reported challenges in 2019 perhaps due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, challenges jumped to an all-time high in 2022 when attempts to ban books doubled from 2021 with 1,269 attempts to ban 2,571 unique titles. Sexually explicit content, offensive language, and “unsuited to any age group” are the top three reasons cited for requesting a book be removed. For more on book banning, explore the ProCon debate.

PRO (yes)

CON (no)


Joe Biden:

“Across the country, our nation faces a spike in book bans – efforts that disproportionately strip books about LGBTQI+ communities, communities of color, and other communities off of library and classroom shelves. In fact, 2022 saw the highest number of book bans in 20 years. Book banning erodes our democracy, removes vital resources for student learning, and can contribute to the stigma and isolation that LGBTQI+ people and other communities face. The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is announcing that to support its ongoing work to defend the rights of LGBTQI+ students and other underserved communities, it will appoint a new coordinator to address the growing threat that book bans pose for the civil rights of students. That coordinator will work to provide new trainings for schools nationwide on how book bans that target specific communities and create a hostile school environment may violate federal civil rights laws.”


White House, “Fact Sheet: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Actions to Protect LGBTQI+ Communities,”, June 8, 2023

Not Clear or Not Found

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.:

No position as of Sep. 8, 2023.

Donald Trump:

No position as of Sep. 8, 2023.