Green Party of Pennsylvania
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Chris Robinson, Communication Team Co-Leader
215-843-4256 and [email protected]
Green Party Members Rebuff PA School Censorship
Members of the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) have been shocked by the use of official censorship sweeping public schools in our Commonwealth. Right now, Pennsylvania has the third most books baned from school libraries (behind Texas and Florida). Chris Robinson (Philadelphia), co-leader of the GPPA Communication Team, said, “Every member of the Green Party should rebuff the rampant censorship poisoning Pennsylvania’s classrooms.”
“Bigoted actions by school boards in PA have now become public policy; an outright, reactionary suppression of ideas complete with punishment for violators of those bans,” continued Robinson. “PA school districts in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Crawford, Erie, Lancaster, Monroe, Montgomery and Westmoreland Counties have censored their library’s books or the language used by teachers in an attempt to prevent an understanding of modern politics by the next generation.”
The Green Party Platform says, “Independent, critical media are essential to an informed and healthy democracy. Citizens must have ready access to news and information to make responsible informed choices as voters and to carry out their other duties of citizenship . . . . Since governments too often have an interest in controlling the flow of information, we must constantly guard against official censorship.”
“As a father, it is my job to work with my children to help them understand difficult ideas and to explain cursing, morally offensive behaviors, or insensitive language, which they may find in books or society protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” said David Ochmanowicz Jr. (Bucks), co-chair of the Green Party of Bucks County and a former member of the Quakertown School Board. “As a citizen and parent of public middle school and elementary school-aged children, I believe that all children should have the rights and ability to explore and understand essential cultural and historical knowledge, as well as different points of view. Censorship due to religious or political reasons should remain unconstitutional.” Ochmanowicz is also co-leader of the GPPA Communication Team.
Christina “PK” DiGiulio (Chester), GPPA 2022 candidate for PA Governor, said, “Having a library full of information allows people to make educated decisions for themselves. Limiting that information by filtering it through a fear-based ideology sets up future generations to make uninformed decisions. This type of controlling behavior is placing our children at a disadvantage. They should be prepared to live in a modern society, which is naturally moving towards inclusivity. Using censorship to disrupt evolution shows how ignorant some people are of natural law. What's next . . . burning the books?"
"Schools are institutions of learning,” said Riley Mahon (Allegheny) who was a Green Party candidate in 2019 for Upper Saint Clair School Board. “Libraries should give students access to any academic subject they wish to study, especially controversial subjects. For the sake of having a functional democracy, it is vital that kids are taught to be politically, civically, and scientifically literate. This trend of banning books in schools is indicative of how this country views education. They want to use schooling as a way to teach obedience and jingoism, instead of as a way to teach creativity and critical thinking." Mahon is now chair of the Green Party of Allegheny County.
“Books open our minds to different ways of thinking about the familiar as well as enabling us to learn completely new things,” explained Jocolyn Bowser-Bostick (Delaware), who was the Green Party 2018 candidate for PA Lieutenant Governor. “This diversity makes us mentally sharper, more creative and better able to adapt to the twists and turns our lives are going to take. We would be crippling our children emotionally and intellectually if we try to hide the messiness of life, different lifestyles, the abuse and ugliness toward many different groups which has occurred in our country’s history and which continues for many. Our children will not be able to make a healthier, more compassionate, more just, and peaceful world if they can’t openly and honestly think and talk about more than what their parents like. We should want to equip our children with the skills and intellectual openness that allows them to learn from, cooperate and collaborate with many different types of people.”
The Green Party of PA, https://www.gpofpa.org, is an independent political party which stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. GPPA candidates promote public policy based on the Green Party’s Four Pillars: grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice/equal opportunity. For further information about GPPA, please email [email protected]. Please follow GPPA on social media: Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/gpofpa/; Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/pagreenparty/; and Twitter, https://twitter.com/GreenPartyofPA.
For more information, please see:
“Students, authors fight censorship in PA schools” by Chris Ullery, Bucks County Courier Times, April 18, 2023,
“Central Bucks teacher is suing the district” by Maddie Hanna, Philadelphia Inquirer, April 12, 2023,
“Central Bucks Teacher Sues District for Retaliating Against Him After He Advocated for Transgender Student,” ACLU PA news release, April 11, 2023,
“Central Bucks alumni sign letter alleging anti-LGBTQ bias by board” by Maddie Hanna, Philadelphia Inquirer, March 10, 2023,
“ACLU-PA Files Federal complaint alleging widespread discrimination in Central Bucks School District,” ACLU PA news release, October 6, 2022,
“PA Has 3rd Most Banned Books Nationwide, As Censorship Soars” by Justin Heinze, Patch, September 18, 2022,
“Central Bucks School District decisions lead LGBTQ students and faculty to fear for civil right” by Emily Rizzo, WHYY, May 11, 2022,
Editorial: Lancaster County school officials shouldn't surrender to those seeking to ban books from school libraries, Lancaster On Line, January 23, 2022,
“Efforts to ban books at Lancaster County school districts part of national trend” by Alex Geli, Lancaster on Line, January 18, 2022,
Pennsylvania School Librarians Association,
Unite Against Book Bans, American Library Association,
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