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Censorship

Williamson County (TN) Schools Lock Students Out of Digital Resources

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Students in Williamson County, Tennessee, have experienced near non-stop changes to the books and resources available to them this school year. Thanks to Moms for Liberty’s relentless campaigns locally, books continue to be challenged and removed throughout the district.

This week, the district took even more draconian censorship measures. In response to a couple of complaints from parents about books available in the digital library app Epic!, the district removed access to the app for review. Epic! is used at elementary schools throughout the US and provides over 40,000 age-appropriate titles to readers.

Williamson County schools serve 42,000 households. A small number of complaints from right-wing affiliated individuals removed an entire library of material for the school to “review.”

Image of email sent to Williamson County, Tennessee, parents.

The book that launched the removal of an entire app, disrupting lesson plans and making an entire collection of materials inaccessible to an entire district? An ABC of Equality. This 52-page book offers an alphabet with terms such as B for Belief, G for Gender, and N for No and it’s meant for 4-8 year olds.

Emily West shares a breakdown of the history of Williamson County censorship, and within those comments are responses from a “parent’s rights” group upset that some of the alphabet choices include L for LGBTQ, S for Sex, and T for Transgender. P for Privilege is also, apparently, worthy of removing an entire library collection from students, teachers, and parents so the district can review. The local Moms for Liberty group has shared their thoughts on Twitter in this thread from the advocacy group Williamson Strong.

A petition is circulating to bring Epic! back to the schools, written by a 10-year-old enrolled in the school.