Florida district bans Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye from schools and libraries

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A Florida school board has become the latest to remove a book by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison from its classrooms and libraries after a mother slammed it for ‘exposing children to pedophilia and organized “Marxist indoctrination camps.”

Michelle Stille lambasted the Pinellas County School Board for including Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” in her child’s advanced literature class.

Stille, a teacher at a Christian school in the district, said she was “shocked that an adult was exposing 15-year-olds” to the book’s “explicit descriptions of illegal activity”.

Michelle Stille urged Pinellas County School Board to remove ‘The Bluest Eye’ from classrooms after calling district schools ‘Marxist indoctrination camps’

Toni Morrison's book

Toni Morrison’s book ‘The Bluest Eye’ has been criticized in recent years and is consistently one of America’s most contested books

Stille emailed school board members disturbing excerpts from the book, which led the authority to revise and eventually ban the novel countywide.

The controversial 1970 novel tells the story of a young African American girl who thinks she’s ugly because she doesn’t have blue eyes.

The book includes elements of abuse, pedophilia, sexual assault, racism, and incest, and has consistently been one of the most banned books in school districts across America.

Stille claimed she would pull her seven children from area public schools in protest.

“When I first read The Bluest Eye in September 2022, I got a frozen response,” she told him in her YouTube clip, titled “Marxism in Education.”

“I was so shocked that an adult was exposing 15-year-olds to such explicit descriptions of illegal activity.”

“The Bluest Eye”, Morrison’s first novel published in 1970, tells the story of a young African-American girl’s childhood after the Great Depression

Morrison has won numerous awards over the years, including a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, but his work has come under fire lately.

Morrison has won numerous awards over the years, including a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, but his work has come under fire lately.

Pinellas County Academic Director Dan Evans responded by banning the book from libraries and classrooms, telling school board members the district was “erring on the side of caution.”

Stille said her child’s teacher informed the class of the ban saying ‘parents don’t like to be uncomfortable’ and wore a shirt that read ‘ban fascists, save books’ .

Evans cited Florida State’s new training, approved by the State Board of Education last week, as one of the main reasons for the decision to remove access to the book.

The training asks schools to check all books for any topics that may be “harmful to minors”.

“The Bluest Eye” was listed as the fourth most banned book in America as of the 2021-2022 school year according to PEN America’s date.

Morrison received the 1993 Nobel Prize for his contribution to literature, 23 years after the publication of his controversial novel.

What is Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye”?

Published in 1970, “The Bluest Eye” was Toni Morrison’s first novel. It depicts the childhood life of a young African-American girl after the Great Depression.

The novel tells the story of the child who feels “ugly”, which makes her want to have blue eyes which she equates with “whiteness”.

The book was part of a body of work that won Morrison numerous literary awards, including a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1988 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.

However, the controversial publication has since been criticized for its introduction into school curricula, and it is regularly one of the most contested and banned books across America.

Maia Kobabe’s “Gender Queer: A Memoir” was the most banned book that year after being pulled from shelves 41 times.

The Pinellas County School Board was congratulated in March 2022 by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis after it pulled the LGBTQ-focused book following protests from parents.

The book was deemed ‘unsuitable’ for high school readers following a school board review, as DeSantis called it a ‘cartoon-style book with graphic images of children performing sex acts’ .

The literary purge of Florida schools has led some districts, such as Manatee County, to close all of its classroom libraries while they review books for harmful content, while others have removed many titles of traffic following protests from local parents.

“The Bluest Eye,” which was not part of the district curriculum but was on a reading list in a teacher’s literature class, was arraigned following Stille’s protest.

Evans told the school board that after the principal decided to remove the book from the classroom, consultations with district leaders led to all schools in the county banning access to the book.

The decision received broad support from the Tories, with blogger David Happe thanking the board for listening to public objections.

Pinellas School Board member Stephanie Meyer also welcomed the decision and said she doesn’t see a problem with districts following the law protecting students from “harmful content.”

She added that as minors, schools must protect students from inappropriate material, insisting that the books were not banned, but unavailable in schools.

Stille called the county’s public schools “Marxist doctrinaire camps” and the system a “dumpster fire.”

“Most public schools are a dumpster fire,” said the veteran teacher.

“Marxist theory is completely entrenched in our public school, yes, even in Florida. We don’t have isolated problems. We have a Marxist system.

“It’s insidious and until something egregious happens it’s really impossible to identify it.”