Oct. 14, 2004 – Recently, a recommendation on school reading lists in a Maryland county has raised the ire of civil liberties advocates. The Charles County Board of Education in La Plata, Maryland has recommended removing "anything that provides a neutral or positive view of immorality or foul language" from school reading lists. Included on the Boardâ€™s brainstormed list of suggestions were ideas such as distributing Bibles in schools, teaching sex education with a focus on abstinence and removing science books that teach evolution.
When challenged, Board officials say this list of ideas resulted from a brainstorming session and none of these proposals had been considered for vote.
Critics argue that the school board is attempting to impose their moral judgments on public schools. Stacey Mink, a spokesperson for the Maryland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, told the Associated Press: "What theyâ€™re proposing is clearly unconstitutional. It is a violation of separation of church and state under the First Amendment."