(NEW YORK) – In response to reports that the Miami-Dade School Board has voted to ban two sexual health textbooks from the system’s classrooms, PEN America issued the following statement from Jonathan Friedman, director of the Free Expression and Education program:

“This ban on sexual health textbooks in Miami-Dade is yet another alarming victory in a political crusade to place politically motivated constraints on what students can learn. It comes amid a torrent of stories of suppression of books and information in Florida schools following the adoption of four new educational censorship laws this spring. In capitulating to these citizens’ demands with little plan in place to replace these textbooks, the board is undermining the expertise of professional educators and putting students’ rights to access information about sexual and reproductive health in jeopardy — their right to be informed about sex, gender, contraception, abortion, abuse, and more. The chilling effect on teaching and learning is widening and intensifying across Florida, to the detriment of public education and the families and young people it serves.”

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Learn more at pen.org.

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, STrimel@PEN.org, 201-247-5057