Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Katie Dodge Hanson

To the Editor:

No matter the background kids come from, they deserve a well-rounded education where facts matter. Iowans know that when kids learn about history, they learn about community and themselves. Parents and teachers provide that in our public schools.

But extremist politicians and out-of-state interest groups are attacking our schools and our libraries.  These attacks on our books are a coordinated effort by dark money groups who donate to politicians so politicians enact their agenda into law. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Rep. Osmundson, Mike Klimesh and fellow MAGA Republicans voted to ban books containing content they disagreed with.

Banned Books Week  has been shining a light on censorship since it was founded in 1982, and the fight for free expression is as urgent as ever. The American Library Association reported the highest number of attempted book bans in the last 20 years. Despite this trend, 70% of parents in the

United States are opposed to book banning. In fact, only a few people from extremist, dark money groups like Moms for Liberty are responsible for a majority of book bans nationwide. They want to ban books, limit what our students can learn, and divide our communities.

Those of us who live in rural counties value our public schools and want them to be strong and well-funded. We value an honest education and the freedom to learn. We do not need politicians deciding what books we can read and what can be taught.

Together, we must oppose extremism on school boards and in the State House and the State Senate.

Katie Dodge Hanson