This year, at least 102 books have been removed from the shelves of school libraries in Clay County, Florida. Many of these books were pulled at the request of one man: Bruce Friedman. A conservative activist and longtime resident of New York, Friedman moved to Clay County this May.

Friedman says he is just getting started. During a November 28 meeting of the Florida Department of Education Library Media Working Group, Friedman said he had compiled “a list of over 3,600 titles that I believe have concerning content…

Books that he has challenged have been removed from Clay County school libraries because of a new policy, implemented in July, that requires books to be pulled as soon as a challenge has been properly filed. The books remain unavailable to students while the challenge is being considered by a District Curriculum Council. 

Friedman has exploited this policy by flooding the district with challenges. Friedman told Popular Information that, since June 30, he has “investigated between 5 and 10 thousand” books available in Clay County school libraries on “a very cursory level.”

Popular Information has obtained dozens of Friedman’s challenge forms through public information requests. Friedman, and a few others he recruited to assist him, filled out these forms identically. The reason for the request is to “PROTECT CHILDREN,” the objectionable material is “INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT,” and the impact of a student using the material is “DAMAGED SOULS.” The answer to most other questions is “N/A.”