School library book bans come to Buncombe

Until recently, local school districts had largely avoided the national wave of book bans. Despite some activists making noise in local school board meetings last summer, there had been no formal requests to remove books from school libraries in Asheville City or Buncombe County schools. But by November, 20 books had been challenged by a group of parents at Enka High School.

BCS board bans book from all district high schools

At its Feb. 8 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Education voted unanimously to remove author Ellen Hopkins’ fictional 2009 book, Tricks. Three other books under consideration — Hopkins’ Perfect, Patricia McCormick’s Sold and Sarah Gruen’s Water for Elephants — remain on county high school library shelves, based on recommendations from the Buncombe County Schools’ Media and Technology Advisory Committee.

WTF: How a library gets its books

Some parents have made frequent appearances at school board meetings to argue that various books — usually related to sexual health or depicting LGBTQ+ students and families — don’t belong in libraries accessible to children. The latest edition of Xpress’s WTF — “Want the Facts?” — series looks at the policies and procedures that determine how books are chosen for school and county libraries.