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17 November 2014 @ 06:46 pm
The minds they close  
The folks at Highland Park are at it again. Earlier in the school year, some parents challenged books for English classes. Now, the district has caved on their responsibility entirely. Here is the story: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/park-cities/headlines/20141112-highland-park-isd-board-asks-officials-to-review-book-policy.ece?hootPostID=dab903424f470181bae0a8d38ced681a.

"At a Tuesday board meeting, Highland Park ISD trustees charged administrators with reviewing the district’s policy on selecting “instructional resources,” such as library acquisitions and textbooks. Issues include the role of parents vs. teachers in making selections and how to pick challenging literature that is age appropriate."

I find it hard to believe that there is not a collection development policy for this district. If it is, as I suspect, in place, then why the hand-wringing? Because some parents are upset about Huck Finn and other classics (and, of course, about many contemporary books as well). I just want to spew here, but this case has gotten so out of hand that it is hard to put together any logical thoughts except these:

1. Let teachers and librarians select books for students.

2. Individual parents may always opt out of a required text. That is their right.

3. Parents cannot opt other kids out of a book. That is overstepping their authority. That is censorship.

4. Perhaps consider using a list and allowing for CHOICE? If a book is not required, then maybe the upset parents can get over their pique and move on to dress code and cheerleader tryouts, or something that MATTERS like the abuse of standardized testing here in Texas (snark intended).

5. Newspaper reporters must label this for what it is: censorship. When a handful of vocal parents can strike down books, policy, and even administrative decisions, there is something seriously wrong.

I urge all of you to post about this as widely as you can. Time to SpeakLoudly.
 
 
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