New Poll Shows Widespread Opposition To Book Banning, Curriculum Censorship

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A new national poll reported widespread disapproval of banning books and limiting curriculum in the classroom, both of which have been proposed during this year’s Iowa legislative session. 

The survey, conducted by Navigator Research, measured public opinion on a variety of issues including banning books that some parents find to have questionable content, the banning of high school classes like African American history, and whether legislation should be passed to prevent children from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity. 

Iowans reacted to today’s poll results and spoke out in support of public education:

“ISEA members work with students and families in every community in our state. This polling data confirms the experiences they have in their local communities,” said Mike Beranek, President of the Iowa State Education Association. “In spite of the anti-public education rhetoric and cookie-cutter legislation some elected officials are pushing, we know Iowans remain committed to taking care of our most vulnerable and continuing to support strong public schools with rigorous curriculum based on science, historical facts, and expansive ideas.” 

“We know that reading books about cultures and identities different from our own promotes unity and empathy,” said Sara Hayden Parris, the founder of Annie’s Foundation, a parent-led organization formed to oppose book bans in Iowa. “When readers don’t see themselves represented in books, it sends the message that they are not valued, or that their stories don’t matter.  Annie’s Foundation believes that every child deserves access to books with characters that look like them and reflect the diversity and complexity of the world around them.  Restricting or removing access to such books, as the Iowa GOP is trying to do, impedes our freedom to read and violates our First Amendment rights.”

“These poll results beg the question: who are Kim Reynolds and the Republican legislature working for?” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “Their divisive policies take time and resources away from supporting public schools. This poll shows that parents oppose their putting politics into our classrooms. It’s time for Iowa’s Governor and legislature to work for Iowans, not to push their own political agenda.” 

Key findings from the Navigator Research poll include:

  • Banning books that some parents find to have questionable content is extremely unpopular, with just 32 percent in support and 57 percent in opposition.
  • This includes a majority of parents. 56 percent of parents oppose banning books that some find to have questionable content, and only 33 percent were in support.
  • Banning high school classes like AP African American history was unpopular, with only 21 percent supporting and 68 percent in opposition. 
  • Passing legislation preventing children from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity was also unpopular. Only 37 percent supported that type of sports ban, and 47 percent were opposed.

The survey published by Navigator Research was conducted among 1,000 registered voters from February 23-27, 2023. The margin of error for the full sample at the 95 percent confidence level is +/- 3.1 percent. Click here for the results.

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