Ready to Read
Oklahoma teacher helms campaign against banned books after being threatened by conservatives
Ahead of the midterms, one English teacher is using Oklahoma's book-banning efforts to campaign against conservative schooling policies in the state, The Associated Press reported.
Summer Boismier, a high-school English teacher from Norman, Oklahoma, told AP she had become concerned by the state's Senate Bill 1142, which The Oklahoman noted was aimed at banning books from school libraries that were deemed "controversial." As a result, she gave students access to a QR code from the Brooklyn Public Library that would allow them to read these banned books.
When parents discovered her actions, Boismier was summoned to a meeting with school officials, in which she resigned her position and vowed to fight back against the state's GOP candidate for public school superintendent, Ryan Walters.
Walters called for Boismier's teaching license to be revoked, and the teacher found herself in the middle of a political firestorm that has engulfed the state. She told AP that people on social media "called for her to be prosecuted, thrown in prison, or even lynched."
However, following the attacks, Boismier became the center of a campaign against conservative-led book-banning efforts, with her community rallying around her in the midst of the social media blitz. Some people even printed her QR code on yard signs for passersby to use.
Boismier is now heading to New York City for a job with the Brooklyn Public Library, and told AP she's happy to have stood up for her students.
"My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner," she said.