WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden said American teachers were being unfairly targeted in “culture wars” and warned against banning books at a White House event on Wednesday.
Biden, speaking at an annual 2022 National and State Teacher of the Year Awards, said politicians were trying to score points by banning books, in an apparent reference to conservatives and to Republicans in states from Texas to Tennessee.
“American teachers have dedicated their lives to teaching our children and raising them,” Biden said to teachers’ whispers of agreement. “We have to stop making it the target of the culture wars. This is where it’s happening.”
In the United States, more than 1,000 titles, mostly dealing with racism and LGBTQ issues, have been removed from school libraries in recent months, according to writers’ organization PEN America.
He also defended American teachers, who have been criticized by groups like “Moms for Liberty,” for the way they teach about race and slavery in the United States.
“Today there are too many politicians trying to score political points, trying to ban books,” Biden said. “Have you ever thought that when you were teaching you would care about burning books and banning books because it doesn’t fit someone’s political agenda?”
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by David Gregorio)
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