GRINNELL, Iowa — Teachers shouldn’t talk politics in class. State officials shouldn’t decide which books remain in middle school libraries. And twice as many adults think that removing books from school libraries would take away valuable learning rather than those who fear that keeping those books would be harmful to students. Those are some of the findings in a new Grinnell College National Poll of American adults.

Here are the specifics of the findings:

  • 57% say it’s inappropriate for teachers to talk about politics within their classrooms.
  • 62% worry that materials valuable to students will be removed from school libraries.
  • 30% worry that materials harmful to students will remain available to students.
  • 17% believe elected officials at the state level should play significant roles in deciding about materials in school libraries.

Peter Hanson, an associate professor of political science and director of the Grinnell College National Poll, believes the poll is a message to state leaders who are trying to influence what books should be allowed in school libraries. “There’s a strong desire for these decisions to be made locally. A majority of our respondents want families to be at the table. They want school librarians to be at that table. The one group they want to stay out of this decision is state officials.”

The poll also found that President Joe Biden’s job approval rose 3% to 39% since six months ago but his favorability rating dropped 5% to 44% over that period.

See the results of the full poll here including break downs by political party.