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At Least 50 Groups in the U.S. Advocated Banning Books This Year

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(CNN) -- At least 50 groups have recently played a role in the evolving movement to have books removed from schools, a new PEN America analysis shows.PEN America, a literary and free expression advocacy organization, released Monday its latest analysis of bans on school library books and class curricula that have occurred in the 2021-2022 school year.Jonathan Friedman, the director of PEN America's free expression and education programs and author of the report,said that in the past decade "there was never organization at this scale or with this kind of momentum" but it's important to understand that these censorship efforts, more often than not, are led by people who are not parents and who only learned about the books online without reading them but demand officials to remove them from shelves.The organization identified 50 groups operating at the national, state, or local level that advocate for bans in K-12 schools and said it appears that the majority of those groups formed in the last year.

They range from local Facebook or online groups to more established conservative organizations."While we think of book bans as the work of individual concerned citizens, our report demonstrates that today's wave of bans represents a coordinated campaign to banish books being waged by sophisticated, ideological and well-resourced advocacy organizations," said Suzanne Nossel, chief executive officer of PEN America.One of those groups is Moms for Liberty, a conservative group that came together last year to fight for parental rights in Florida and has since spread across the country.

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