Governor Gavin Newsom blocks schools in California from banning ‘inclusive’ or ‘diverse’ books – specifically ones promoting racial and LGBTQ figures
Governor Gavin Newsom bans California schools from banning ‘inclusive’ or ‘diverse’ books — especially those that promote racial and LGBTQ characters
- Newsom signed a bill Monday that would ban school districts from censoring books that promote LGBTQ+ and racial figures
- Schools that impose a book ban around such material may be fined
- Two-thirds of the Legislature supported a measure that takes effect immediately
Governor Gavin Newsom has passed a law banning California school boards from banning books and educational materials labeled “inclusive” or “diverse.”
School districts can now be fined if they impose book bans, specifically against materials that promote racial and LGBTQ+ characters.
The law passed Monday night with support from two-thirds of the Legislature.
In a video on X, formerly Twitter, Newsom called the law “long overdue.”
He said: ‘Remarkable that we now live in a country where there is this wave of prohibition, this cultural cleansing that we are seeing all over America and now increasingly here in the state of California, where school districts are banning books, banning books, freedom of speech, which librarians and teachers are criminalized.
“We want to do more than just rhetorically oppose that, and that’s what this legislation provides.”
Newsom passed the law as an emergency measure, meaning it would take effect immediately, despite opposition from conservatives and the California School Boards Association.
California Governor Gavin Newsom (left) said laws to prevent book bans on material promoting LGBTQ+ or racial figures were “long overdue,” and thanked bill author Corey Jackson (right) for his work on it
The bill drew attention earlier this year after a Southern California education authority blocked curriculum on Harvey Milk, California’s first openly gay man elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
The Temecula Unified School District was later amended after Newsom threatened the board with a $1.5 million fine for violating state law mandating the teaching of historical contributions by LGBTQ+ Americans.
The law follows a similar policy that will take effect in January in Illinois and a wave of book bans that will sweep the country, especially in Florida.
More than 170 books about Black historical figures and LGBTQ+ themes were reviewed for schools in the pan earlier this year, as part of Governor Ron DeSantis’ crackdown on “woke” literature in classrooms.
Books that have already been banned include Anti-racist child by Ibram X. Kendi, The kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and Rupi Kaur’s poetry collection Milk and honey.
But even works of classical literature were not safe from censorship, with Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream and John Milton’s Paradise Lost among the canonical texts banned or age-restricted.
Hundreds of books have been banned in Florida by some schools, including Khaled Hosseini’s Kite Runner and Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey due to the presence of ‘adult’ themes
Supporters of book bans say the laws give school officials and parents control over what their children read, protecting them from pornographic or inappropriate themes.
But the bill’s supporters argued that a book ban amounts to censorship and an infringement on freedom of expression.
The bill’s author, Assemblymember Corey Jackson, said, “It is the responsibility of every generation to ensure that rights continue for the next generation.”