If you're not sure what to say, here is a template of how you can speak to your local, state, federal representative. A friendly reminder to please be as respectul as possible to the staff taking your call or email. You can also find more tips on what to say at school or library board meetings here.
(Book/Author) has recently been challenged in our [district/school/library/community]. A parent has the right to choose what books their children read; they do not have the right to decide what other children/teens read. Teachers and librarians are well trained in child/teen guidance and book selection. I trust them as they determine what books are appropriate for their classroom or library. I recognize that there may be community pressure to ban specific books. This should be a concern to all parents and citizens. Banning a book violates children’s/teen’s right to read, a provision granted them under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Censorship sends a powerful and negative message to young readers: It teaches them that a few loud voices can disrupt the rights of all. It implies a lack of trust in their ability to digest new ideas. It infers that their opinions don’t matter. Is conformity worth more than true learning? Knowledge protects children and prepares them to live and thrive in a complicated world. A lack of knowledge leaves them unprotected and unprepared to face life’s greatest challenges.
The American Library Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, Association of American Publishers, American Society of Journalists and Authors, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of for Teachers of English, and Library of Congress Center for the Book are just a few of the organizations that support and promote the right to read, and freedom of thought. I urge you to get to know these organizations.
I am writing to urge your support as we strive to protect all children’s/teen’s constitutional rights. This protection is the greatest gifts we can grant young readers as they journey through life.