Hearing for potential ban of the book ‘Stamped’ set for Sept. 1

At its meeting on Tuesday night, the New Hanover County Board of Education heard from parents and educators who were against banning the book “Stamped.”
Published: Jul. 12, 2023 at 10:45 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 15, 2023 at 10:45 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A book may be banned from New Hanover County Schools after a debate among members of the school board.

The hearing for the potential ban of “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You” is set for Sept. 1.

At its meeting on Tuesday night, July 11, the New Hanover County Board of Education heard from parents and educators who were against banning the book “Stamped.”

But some board members felt there should be a hearing where both sides of the argument can provide input since a few parents raised concerns about the merits of the novel.

Those against banning the book say it only took one or two parents to complain about the book’s content, about racism and anti-racism in America, for it to be considered for removal.

“I don’t believe any other parent should have a say in what my child can access in the school library,” said parent Tiffany Salter.

Many parents and board members suggested that if a parent has an issue with the book, their child should be given alternative assignments.

Board members who read the book said they believe it is on a middle school level and not a high school AP level, suggesting that all AP reading standards should be reevaluated.

As a result, the board voted 4 to 3 to have a hearing on whether to remove the book, where one person can speak for or against whether it should be removed.

“A parent’s request is working itself through the due process like all those other appeals, we should hear this one and then make decisions based on arguments made during that appeal,” Pat Bradford, New Hanover County Board of Education member, said.

Another board member, Hugh McManus, who voted against the hearing, took issue with the idea of banning any book, due to the ripple effect it could have.

“Once you start banning, then you’ll be asked to ban more. Once you do it, no matter what. I’m not agreeing with the book or disagree with the book. I’m against banning books. And once you start, you can’t stop it. And everyone has a right to be educated if they so choose to read other than what individual board members think they should do,” said McManus.