A school district in Pennsylvania temporarily banned the Girls Who Code book series for young readers, making it the latest book to vanish from schools in the U.S.
The books are four of more than 1,500 unique book titles that have been banned by various schools across the country after conservative pushes to censor books.
The free expression non-profit Pen America researches an index of banned books in the nation. According to its report, 138 school districts across 32 states have banned books from their classrooms and school libraries.
Aggressive campaigns by conservatives and Republicans to ban books in schools and libraries across the United States have escalated in the past two years.
The movement to ban books gained momentum in 2021 when conservatives took aim at the academic “critical race” theory and turned it into a buzzword, while also peddling disinformation to stoke fears of liberal ideals being taught in classrooms.
The report was updated this week, including that the Central York school district in Pennsylvania was banning the books The Friendship Code, Team BFF: Race to the Finish!, Lights, Music, Code! and Spotlight on Coding Club!
The latest titles were among a suggested new list of more diverse teaching resources that was ultimately suspended by the district.
Last year, this school district received widespread national attention after it banned resource materials listed in 2020 by its diversity committee. It included children’s books and documentaries.
A coalition of students and parents successfully pushed the district to rescind its ban after public pressure.
At the time, the school district’s board president said in a statement that the book bans were trying to “balance legitimate academic freedom with what could be literature/materials that are too activist in nature.”
Girls Who Code is a non-profit that runs computer coding clubs and programs in schools for girls. They have a series of books that feature a group of girls who become friends in their school’s coding club. The books are used to teach children how to code.