ACLU OF IDAHO FILES PUBLIC RECORD REQUESTS RELATED TO NAMPA SCHOOL BOOK BAN
The civil rights organization cites potential First Amendment violations
BOISE, — Today the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Idaho sent public record requests to Nampa School District Superintendent Gregg Russell and the Board of Trustees for the Nampa School District seeking any communication related to the removal of books from school libraries and classrooms. In the detailed request, the civil liberties organization expressed concern that the Trustees may have violated The First Amendment of the United States Constitution when they voted in May to permanently remove 22 books from school libraries and classrooms. The Trustees made their decision without following regular and unbiased procedures for reviewing the books after just one parent complained. The 22 books removed by the Trustees contain references to race, gender, and sexuality.
“Our records request is very specific. We are requesting materials to better understand the process and justification the Trustees used to remove these 22 books from District library shelves,” said ACLU of Idaho Legal Director Aadika Singh. Early evidence suggests that the Trustees used an ad hoc process and ignored the advice of librarians and teachers and removed these books because they express ideas related to race, gender, and sexuality and contain views by authors and characters who are members of racial or sexual minority groups. If that’s true, the Trustees have abused their power and are likely violating the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
The ACLU’s public record requests follow other requests filed by concerned citizens, community groups, and news media outlets, where Superintendent Russell and the Trustees have yet to produce complete and responsive records.
The ACLU of Idaho also reminded Trustees of their obligation under the Idaho Public Records Law to provide responsive documents even if the ACLU of Idaho ultimately publishes those materials to the criticism or embarrassment of Trustees. Under the Idaho Public Records Law, the records must be provided to the ACLU of Idaho in 10 working days or by July 20.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Idaho is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Idaho strives to advance civil liberties and civil rights through activities that include litigation, education, and lobbying. Learn more at acluidaho.org