Article written by Project THRIVE partner Courtney Pentland (She/Her), American Association of School Librarians President 2023-24
A child’s education is greatly impacted by the level of involvement of their parents or guardians who are encouraged to attend events at the school, be present for parent teacher conferences, and to reach out to teachers and other school personnel with questions or to ask for support.
In most school districts, parental (or guardian) rights are already in place. If they want to see the textbooks their students are using, they can ask to view a copy. If they do not want their child to read a text that the class has been assigned, they can ask for an alternative option. If they do not want their child to check out specific books from the school library, they can ask for restrictions to be placed on their own children’s access. It should be noted that in recent years the amount of books that have been challenged and subsequently banned has risen dramatically, and there has been a distinct correlation made to content about and written by members of the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities.  
The school library is where students can explore materials that support their learning needs and personal interests. It is also a place where parental rights are upheld, and where every family’s values and beliefs are respected. Restricting all students’ access to materials based on specific groups’ beliefs and values takes away the parental rights of others.
Any parents or guardians who would like to take a more active role in their children’s reading lives can become engaged with their readers in several positive ways.