Star Wars’ Mark Hamill shares Florida’s ‘banned books list’

There is a big debate in the United States about what learning materials are suitable for school children. More and more parents are taking the opportunity to have a voice on what their children are allowed to read in educational settings.

Some parents are trying to ban certain books from schools that contain what they believe to be inappropriate discussions or references to race, sexual orientation and gender. Others defend what is necessary for a child’s comprehensive education.

An illustrated adaptation of Anne Frank’s diary was recently reviewed by a Texas school district to see if it met new standards set by the trustees following a “challenge” by local stakeholders.

On Twitter, Star Wars’ Mark Hamill shared an image suggesting some classic books are facing a broader ban in Florida.

Star Wars’ Mark Hamill tweeted this week an image of a “banned books list” that includes classics like “The Lord of the Rings” and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” claiming to have been “banned” in Florida Banned Books”. In this combined image, Hamill (left), the children in the library (right) and Annie Wright at the premiere of Disney’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” on December 16, 2019 in Hollywood, California Frank (illustration).
Getty/annefrank.org

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A tweet from Mark Hamill on August 22, 2022 shows a list of books allegedly “banned” in Florida. At the time of writing, this tweet has received over 187,000 engagements.

The text in the image reads “Florida’s Anti-Awakening Banned Book List. Some of it makes sense considering Republicans should be afraid their voters might read ‘1984’.”

Hamill tweeted an image alongside “This would also be great for a recommended reading list.”

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Conservative leaders in Florida (and across the U.S.) are trying to give parents more control over the books or materials their children learn in school.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been the standard-bearer of the movement. In March 2022, DeSantis signed HB 1467, which would allow “parents to decide what materials their children are exposed to in school.”

This led to a wave of reviews and schools banned dozens of books from their libraries.

However, Florida prohibits proposals for established classics such as In 1984, The Lord of the Rings, and to kill a robin Not really, nor is it implying that the ban affects all citizens.

The image in Hamill’s tweet did not make it clear whether the “banned books” list was referring to a statewide ban or a conversation around school library reviews.

April 2022, Miami New Era Published a list of “banned books” in Florida school districts.

These include some books that appear on Hamill’s shared list, namely: Sherman Alexie’s Absolutely true diary of a part-time IndianJay Asher Thirteen reasonsAlex Gino GeorgeJudy Bloom’s forever, Khalid Husseini a kite chaserMargaret Atwood The Handmaid’s Tale and Angie Thomas The hatred you give.

It’s worth pointing out that these books aren’t banned in the broadest sense, just that they won’t be available in certain school libraries in Florida.

However, while Florida’s governor has given parents more power to decide which books can be taught in public schools, there is no statewide “banned book list” in school libraries or elsewhere.

We found no evidence that the books on the list (other than those mentioned) were withdrawn from school libraries in Florida or were censored in the state.

In a statement to Snopes, a DeSantis spokesman said some of the books on the list were “specifically mentioned in the benchmarks of Florida’s Outstanding Student Thinking (BEST) standard,” though he didn’t specify which ones.

So while some of the books on the list are not taught or lent in some Florida school districts, they are not banned statewide, nor is the book uniform throughout Florida as one can infer from the tweets Schools are prohibited.

Some of the books on the list were also pulled from school libraries in other states. In November 2021, a Kansas school district removed 30 books from its district library, including the hatred you give.

Also, while Florida schools have not banned some of the books on the list shared on Twitter, they have faced challenges in the past. The Harry Potter series tops our comprehensive list of the most challenging years from 2000-2009. The stories faced censorship demands from Christian religious leaders, who denounced the books as satanic.

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Incorrect

Incorrect.

Florida does not have an Anti-Wake Banned Book List. The images in Hamill’s tweet contain a mixture of lack of context, misleading and false information. While some of the books on this list are not in some Florida school libraries, the restriction does not apply to all schools statewide, nor does it affect residents who want to purchase these books. Many books are not banned in schools or elsewhere.

Fact check by Newsweek fact-checking team

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