U.S. Court Upholds Miami Book Banning
Last week, the U.S. federal appeals court upheld the Miami-Dade School Board decision to ban a children’s book about Cuba. The court ruled that the First Amendment was not breached when Vamos a Cuba (A Visit to Cuba) was pulled from library school shelves in 2006.
Vamos a Cuba is part of a series aimed at children under the age of 10 that presents a view of daily life in different countries throughout the world. Parent and former political prisoner in Cuba, Juan Amador launched a complaint about the book stating that it gives an inaccurate and misleading view of Cuban life under Fidel Castro’s rule. The book cover features smiling children and doesn’t include information on Castro’s revolution, political or social conflict’s or the governmental suppression of dissidents.
After the school board voted to remove the book from school libraries, a Miami judge ruled that this decision was political and that it should have added books that offer a different perspective as opposed to removing the book.
The American Civil Liberties Union also challenged the school board’s decision to remove the book and ACLU’s Florida division executive director, Howard Simon said of the appeals court ruling, “We’re going to take further action to prevent the shelves of the Miami-Dade school library from being scrubbed clean of viewpoints some people in the school find objectionable. Censorship is censorship is censorship.”