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22 September 2014 @ 09:15 am
what did i tell you?  
It happens each year during Banned Books Week: the challenges rear their ugly head. Perhaps it is because we are so sensitized given the celebrations of the week. However, this challenge from Highland Park (Texas, guys), is emblematic of the reasons why we need to be vigilant about keeping books free and making sure we all have FREADOM.

Here is the article: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/park-cities/headlines/20140921-highland-park-isd-suspends-seven-books-after-parents-protest-their-content.ece

Seven books have been removed from an AP reading list in this district due to parent complaint. The titles include: THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAINSIDDHARTA, THE WORKING POOR: INVISIBLE IN AMERICA, ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES, THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN, THE GLASS CASTLE, SONG OF SOLOMON. This list includes many award winners. Alexie's book is a National Book Award winner, John Green's was a Printz Honor, and so it goes. There are authors here who won Pulizter Prizes, too. And there initially was a collection of educators giving thought to this list, placing books on the list for reasons. Here is the money quote from high school teacher Darcy Young: “Our motto is to prepare the child for the path, not prepare the path for the child,” she said."

Here is the ignorance of those who would ban books: "Aimee Simms, another parent, urged the English Department to use classics rather than young adult books that “dumb down” literature. She said classics can address complex topics, such as poverty, with fewer sexual references and curse words." This makes any book not hundreds of years old a target. Convenient.

More ignorance: "Thad Smith, a parent and Highland Park graduate, said at a school board meeting that he was “frightened by the changes to recommended reading that have happened since I graduated.” Smith said his company’s email filter prevented him from sending an excerpt from one of the books." Yes, let's keep reading the same books never considering that there might be something to be gained, gleaned from more contemporary titles. Sometimes, I just want to give these folks a quiz over the classics to see what they recall.

You want more ignorance: see some of the comments.

I am not mincing words again when ti comes to removing books, especially when they are removed without following processes. It is time to point fingers, to use pointed language, to stand up for FREADOM.
 
 
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