PICKENS COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – There have been some developments in a story we brought to you last week about the School District of Pickens County banning the book “Stamped.”
“Stamped” is an award-winning book published two and a half years ago, that’s described as “revealing the history of racist ideas in America”.
A parent of a Pickens County student asked that the book would be reviewed by the school board, and after review, the board voted to take it off the shelves on September 26.
However, some claim that decision was unconstitutional.
“Book bans are clearly a violation of the first amendment right to access information,” said Josh Malkin with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Monday night at the Pickens County Council meeting, Malkin spoke to council about his concerns.
“Also unconstitutional was the way last Monday’s meeting was conducted,” Malkin said. “There were eight or nine folks who I believe spoke out in favor of the ban, and I’ve been told that everyone who emailed to speak against the ban never received a response.”
Malkin said he’s worried about how this decision could impact other freedoms.
“What does this mean about the press, what does this mean about freedom of religion, the right to assemble. If the first is something we’re not going to respect in one arena, whose to say it’s going to be protected by others,” Malkin said.
The School District of Pickens County said ACLU has not contacted them yet.
They sent a statement saying, “The selection of instructional materials follows SC state board of education regulations as well as other legal requirements. All materials will support the district’s educational philosophy, goals and objectives.”
ACLU said they plan to have representatives speak at the next Pickens County School Board meeting which will be held Monday, October 24.
The school district said the meeting is open to the public ad will start at 6 p.m.