I never remember when Banned Books Week is scheduled. I stumbled about online, and luckily realized it was happening, now, this minute, until October 2. 2012. My fascination with the convoluted and off kilter reasons for parents, townspeople, and school boards’ objections to certain titles never wanes. How could it? Every year a new title that may have been published centuries ago, is being challenged by someone somewhere. The American Library Association in honor of 30 years devoted to pointing out threatened and banned titles, created a timeline of banned books–from the year Banned Books Week began, 1982, until this year. Some not yet read titles are familiar to me because of being challenged constantly by the ignorant. Other titles I’v’e never heard of. A great deal of them are juvenile or grade school level.
I don’t know what else to call this unbelievable turn in the issue of censorship and disruption of public school curriculum. I only know that a state I visited and enjoyed, has now become the poster child for backward, dictatorial thinking. The voters of this state should not only be ashamed of themselves for voting … Read more
You’ve heard that term before, right? Any time someone says anything contrary to the established beliefs of small vocal radical conservative groups, and they are on the East coast–heck, even if they’re in downtown Chicago–the perception these people give is that any one who disagrees with them are “elitists.” I doubt most understand what the … Read more
This is getting ridiculous. A Study In Scarlet has been removed from a Virginia 6th grade curriculum–why? Because some of the passages are florid descriptions of what Arthur Conan Doyle believed were Mormon religious views and activities. And yes, again, on the basis of ONE complaint, a book that had been taught for years as … Read more
Yet again!! Parents must interfere with school curriculum! Banned Books reports all instances of challenged titles throughout the world–thank goodness some one is watch dogging all the insane Puritan parental ‘watch dogs’ out there. !Another! instance of a kid’s parents dictating to the school what is allowed, and what is forbidden to be taught has occurred in New Hampshire. The book in contention? Water for Elephants, a book chosen for an elected course, meaning, the student signs up for the course, takes home a permission slip to be signed by their parents, and if the student wants to read the book, and the parents are normal, they sign off on it and teachers then teach, and students then learn.
But not all parents seem to believe that other parents are allowed to OK their offspring to read the course selection. Some like this particular couple believe that their sensibilities are law, and anyone who disagrees should be FIRED. Yes, not only do they have the audacity to demand the book and course be pulled because of a two page description of sexual acts most teenagers have probably already experienced, but they think they have the power and right to have the teacher or administrators be fired for introducing such horrible filth into the curriculum!
I’ve asked this before, and I still can’t find an answer; why does ANYONE outside the teachers and admins have any say over the books in school libraries and various courses? My guess, because we live in a world so afraid of its shadow, that schools no longer stand up for themselves. They cow-tow to whatever crackpot nitwits so freaked out about sex that they must publically make fools of themselves by demanding the book be banned. Do these parents not see how humiliating it must be for their child? Who wants to be known as the kid of the repressed couple who went ape over some rather tame sexual paragraphs? Oh boy, what a nightmare finishing high school that would be. What compels someone to believe something is soooooo offensive that it would damage the soft part of their teenagers brain if exposed to it? What are they seeing the rest of the world doesn’t, and again, why why why are their voices heard and acted upon, as opposed to all the silent parents who signed the permission slips for their kids to take a course with a great book that has 2 pages of lovemaking?
I realize that in centuries past, books such as these wouldn’t have seen the light of day in a school. But years ago, teenagers had sex, got pregnant, had back street abortions, were forced to marry early, contracted incurable sexual diseases and died, all without having been exposed to the horrors of sexual descriptions. Now, reading something like Water For Elephants, teenagers still have sex, get pregnant, hopefully stop having back street abortions, and probably don’t have a shotgun pointed at them, and can be cured of *most* sexually transmitted diseases. So the horrors of a couple of pages are, what, exactly????