Books aimed at encouraging girls to code appear to have reportedly been removed from classrooms in Pennsylvania’s Central York school district.
The “banned” books are the first four in the “Girls Who Code” series: The Friend Code, Team BFF: Race to the finish! , Girls Who Code, Lights, Music, Code! and Coding Club Spotlight!.
The four tomes are from the non-profit organization Girls Who Code, which is committed to closing the gender gap in the tech industry and changing the image of “what a programmer looks and acts like”.
The group works toward their goal through their books, summer camps, immersion programs, after-school coding clubs, and more.
The Girls Who Code series is a mashup of The Babysitters Club and Computer Science 101. A group of four or five (depending on which book of the series you’re in) different tween girls navigate friendship, life , programming and hackathons while the authors drop some code snippets into the plot.
It’s the kind of stuff parents buy their kids hoping it might make IT seem cool.
But apparently not everyone found it ambitious, as the four books ended up in freedom of speech advocacy PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans, which states that the series was “banned in the classroom” sometime between July 1, 2021 and June 20, 2022. became.
Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani has imposed the ban on a group called Moms for Liberty, which campaigns for parental rights in schools and the oversight of educational materials.
Saujani described her reaction to finding the books on the PEN America list:
The founder later tweeted “Maybe they don’t want girls to learn to code because they’re so economically secure…”
Saujani also vowed to speak out against Moms for Liberty through her other nonprofit, Marshall Plan for Moms.
The registry reached out to Girl Who Code, Moms for Liberty and the Central York School District in Pennsylvania for a better understanding of the series’ offensive content, but did not receive an immediate response.
Online book reviews suggest the Girls Who Code books are harmless. One review read:
Moms of Liberty (MFL) lists many instances in which its members have been cited in conservative media, all with critical commentary on issues such as critical race theory, sex education, and inclusive gender language.
As for the book ban, MFL co-founder Tina Descovich told Fox News the group only deals with children’s access to pornography and sexually explicit material in school settings.
“I haven’t seen any of our groups wanting to get rid of books that help kids find characters that they relate to,” Descovich said. She also acknowledged that “there are a lot of books in gray areas.”
The registry could find no evidence of pornographic or sexually explicit material in reviews or summaries describing the Girls Who Code books.
Pennsylvania’s Central York School District is reportedly in a critical political swing region where Girls Who Code has an active club.
A Twitter user said Her daughter had thoroughly enjoyed Girls Who Code’s summer coding program, but her beef was in the content the organization uploaded to its mailing list, which has a history of touching on abortion and transgender people’s rights.
“I love the missions to get girls interested in coding, I just don’t appreciate it with a side of politics,” the mom and Twitterer said. ®