June 14, 2012Dr. Bryan BowlesDavis School District45 East State StreetP.O. Box 588Farmington, Utah firstname.lastname@example.orgDear Superintendent Bowles,We are writing to express concern about the removal of
In Our Mothers’ House
byPatricia Polacco from libraries shelves in the Davis School District and the decision torestrict access to the book. We understand these actions were taken in response toobjections to the book’s depiction of a non-traditional family.The First Amendment precludes public officials from suppressing ideas simply becausesome people find them offensive or controversial. The Supreme Court has cautioned thatschool officials "may not remove books from library shelves simply because they dislikethe ideas contained in those books and seek by their removal to ‘prescribe what shall beorthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion.’"
Board of Education v. Pico,
457 U.S. 853, 872 (1982)(plurality opinion). This constitutional dutyapplies with particular force in the school library, which, unlike the classroom, has "aspecial role...as a place where students may freely and voluntarily explore diversetopics."
Campbell v. St. Tammany Parish School Board
, 64 F. 3d 184, 190 (5th Cir.1995).
In Our Mother’s House
is a true story about children who grew up in a multi-racialfamily with two mothers.
School Library Journal
called it a “gem of a book” which“illustrates how love makes a family, even if it's not a traditional one.” A StratfordLibrary Association Review called it “a model of inclusiveness for children” which “canhelp youngsters better understand their world.” Whatever views may exist about suchnon-traditional families, they are part of the fabric of almost every community, includingthe school where the complaint was brought.