(NEW YORK)— The Marietta School Board voted Thursday in a “special called” meeting to uphold a ban on Flamer by Mike Curato. The early morning vote followed two appeal attempts from a parent to reinstate the book in the school district’s collection after it was banned by the district’s Superintendent following another parental challenge.

Kasey Meehan, director of the Freedom to Read program at PEN America, said:

“In September, PEN America said this policy decision would lead to censorship – and we are disturbed to find that it has. While two parents were able to ban Flamer, without any transparent processes, an appeal to reinstate the book, signed by over 100 parents, was insufficient to return it to school library shelves. We urge the board to reverse course and commit to reconsideration practices whereby librarians, educators, students, and parents read and review books rather than school boards impulsively banning them.

Under the school’s policy, books found to be “sexually explicit” will be removed, and parents will be able to appeal the decision to remove a particular book. The school board also called for a regular review of new materials, both in the library and in the classroom, as well as a semi-annual progress report on the policy’s implementation.

PEN America previously commented here.

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. To learn more visit PEN.org

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, [email protected], 201-247-5057