ACLU demands excluded documents surrounding Nampa School District book ban

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Posted at 4:55 PM, Aug 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-13 19:27:55-04

NAMPA, Idaho — The ACLU of Idaho is demanding documents that were excluded from their initial public records request from last month in regards to the 22 books that were removed from Nampa School District's libraries.

On Thursday, in a press release, the ACLU claimed that their initial review makes "clear that the Nampa School Board banned a number of books without any justification" and that this suggests "the Trustees may have violated the First Amendment of the United States Constitution when they voted in May to permanently remove 22 books from school libraries and classrooms."

Aadika Singh, legal director for the ACLU of Idaho, said their initial public records request was looking for documents that showed the trustees violated the first amendment.

"The evidence that we had, just by surveying the information that was publicly available at that time, suggested that the books were removed based on the views of trustees," said Singh.

By demanding additional requests, the organization is looking for any other documents, specifically communication between trustees, that show the books were removed based on the personal beliefs of the trustees.

The ACLU's ultimate goal is to have these books put back on the shelf in the Nampa School Districts. They say there are multiple avenues to explore, including litigation.

“It’s also possible to sue on the ban itself," said Singh. "And force the school district through litigation, through constitutional litigation, to return these books to the shelves or at least undertake a thorough unbiased process.”

The deputy superintendent of the Nampa School District, Waylon Yarbrough, told Idaho News 6 over the phone that, to his knowledge, there was no deliberate attempt to exclude the documents and the district is working to fulfill the ACLU's new request.