Limitations with Injunctions

Warning labels limit what the youth are allowed to read.


Sean Meister

Warning labels on books from the Charger Commons.

Sean Meister, Staff Writer

As of early August 2022, the Collier County School District placed warning labels on books that were deemed “unsuitable for students.” This is partially due to the passing of the Parents’ Bill of Rights Law that provides parents “rights relating to a minor child’s education, upbringing, & health care; provides school district, health care practitioner, hospital requirements and specified penalties.”

After the passing of this bill, over 100 books in the Collier County Public Schools have had warning labels placed on them due to the advocacy of Keith Flaugh, CEO and co-founder of the Florida Citizens Alliance. The Florida Citizens Alliance works to improve Florida’s education by empowering teachers, students, and parents. Keith Flaugh worked as an activist for the Florida Citizens Alliance.

“It is also important to note that Collier County Public Schools has not removed any books from our media centers,” the district has stated in an email, according to an article written by The Washington Post. If these books were damaging to a student, then the school district would have no reason to keep the books.

The only reason the school district would be keeping these books is if there is nothing wrong with students having access to these books. The Florida Citizens Alliance has reviewed through public records in order to find books that should have warning labels on them. “Many of these contain sexually explicit and age-inappropriate content,” Keith Flaugh stated in an email regarding the warning labels on books, according to an article written by NBC News.

These warning labels on books were created to help inform the students of schools that what they are reading might be explicit content, which is why this is creating a limitation on what students may want to learn.

These limitations that were created can be deemed as highly biased. Certain topics that a typical student might overlook are being analyzed by people who are part of the Florida Citizens Alliance to identify literature that can be
classified as inappropriate for their audience.

One such example would be “Everywhere Babies” by Susan Meyers. This book illustrates the ideas of “diverse families” as one image shows two men holding hands, while another shows two women sleeping next to a crib. The target audience for this book consists of young children who are unlikely to see these images as inappropriate. In the mind of a child, this could merely be interpreted as two women or men hanging out together, or a normal family unit, which it is.

The only people who would interpret this as portraying a sexual relationship are those who chose to see a sexual relationship present, even if this was not intended by the author. This could lead to many other books being taken off the shelf as a result of the interpretation of the viewer of said books.

In order for there to be true equality regarding the situation of warning labels being placed on books, Florida County School Districts must remove warning labels on these books and keep the previous system of having books recommended to specific audiences. An adult should only guide a student on how they can read, not prohibit them from reading due to their bias. Because of this, adults should not be putting warning labels on these books.