Censoring School Books Before They're Bought

It's bad enough when a local politician is trying to designate which books a school should or should not buy, but it's even more frightening when he doesn't even know what he's doing.

From the article:

At the beginning of the school year, as the Dysart Unified School District was preparing to buy more than 1,000 novels for its libraries and classrooms, Rep. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, posted to an online message board a list of books he thought the district was considering buying that he found objectionable.

It turned out that Harper had clicked on the wrong link for Follett Library Resources and viewed books from a general list of inventory available through the company, Follett, rather than a specific list created by the district.

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Also from the article

Also from the article:

Dan Kleinman, a self-described library watchdog who runs a blog called Safe Libraries, agreed that books should not be removed simply because of their topics.

"If a book is pervasively vulgar, you can remove it immediately," he said. "You cannot remove the book if it contains ideas that you disagree with."

He added, "Nobody should be removing any books unless they've read them."


"If a book is pervasively vulgar, you can remove it immediately,"
and then...."You cannot remove the book if it contains ideas that you disagree with."
Those two statements would seem to be contradictory. Vulgar can be subjective, can it not?

Board of Education v. Pico

Anonymous, there is a difference between ideas and vulgarity. Ideas might include homosexual marriage, the Earth being older than 6,000 years, communism, abortion, witchcraft, atheism, etc. Vulgarity might include certain descriptions of bestiality or sex, repeated use of curse words, etc. The key here is not me nor what I think. The key here is the 1982 Board of Education v. Pico case. It was so obvious that pervasively vulgar material can be removed forthwith that the parties even stipulated to that, and the ALA was heavily involved in that case. I suggest reading the Pico case as what I infer from your question is that you are trying to convince others that no one is ever in a position to judge so no book can ever be removed, and that view would improperly obviate the Pico case:

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