On September 27, Milo Bisgaier ’24 served as moderator on an online book banning discussion with Peter Bromberg, Associate Director for EveryLibrary, a national organization devoted to building voter support for public, school, and collegiate libraries.
Milo’s discussion was part of a series called “Voices for Human Rights” hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, an organization dedicated to human rights issues and social justice. In the conversation, titled “Article 19 and Freedom of Opinion and Expression: A Conversation about Common Sense Solutions to Book Banning and Challenges,” Milo facilitated questions with Peter about book banning’s implications for education and how students can make a difference in their local community.
In addition to serving as moderator, Milo led a discussion about the George School Amnesty chapter with peers from other schools.
“I helped answer questions about how our chapter operates and how to get involved,” Milo said. “I didn’t expect it, but I think book banning is an important topic to hear from a students’ perspective.”
Milo was recommended by Meredith Baldi, his Amnesty Club Sponsor, for the talk based on his previous work and interest in book banning in George School’s Amnesty chapter. Last year, Milo headed a letter writing campaign to the local school district in opposition to book banning legislation. This year, Amnesty continued the letter writing to challenged and banned book authors in partnership with the Mollie Dodd Anderson Library. During this time, all students had the opportunity to write letters at tables set up at both the library and outside of the dining hall during lunch. These letters were in support of a larger campaign titled “Dear Banned Author” started by the American Library Association to show support to authors, library workers, and educators facing censorship.
In addition to Amnesty’s efforts, the George School English program has incorporated the conversation of book banning into the classroom. In IB HL English, Milo and his classmates read works like Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Manuel Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman. Milo recalled, “We had a lot of conversations about the banned and challenged books and why we thought they might be challenged, and why the story is important to have out there.”
Milo serves as Amnesty club president this year, and works with Fiona Simek ’26 and Willa Wang ’25 to plan initiatives that make a difference in the George School community and beyond. Milo shared they plan to host events this year centered around topics like mental health and rare disease awareness in addition to book banning.
“We’re going to do a lot this year,” Milo stated. “We like to take feedback from our club members and do things that they’re interested in.”
George School students can participate in banned book week all month long with Amnesty’s Banned Book Bingo. Prizes will be awarded for students who read the most amount of books on the list by November 1. Visit the Mollie Dodd Anderson Library to check out one of the titles today and reach out to an Amnesty Club member for a copy of the Bingo board. The recording of Milo’s Discussion with Peter Bromberg can be found here.