Activists debate seized book

A Brookwood family's protest of a school library book with descriptive sexual references has garnered the attention of activist groups across the nation.

Lysa Harding, 15, checked out the book - "Sandpiper" by Ellen Wittinger -- and refused to return it to Brookwood High's library after reading it, saying it was inappropriate material for a school library. She and her grandmother, Pam Pennington, went public with their concerns in September and response has come from all sides of the issue.

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Ban the article?

The news article was too balanced, actually presenting the point of view of safelibraries without unduly distorting it. That sets a bad precedent for the mainstream media!

exciting

Since Pam Harding is now the head librarian, the principle and the superintendent I can wait to her what her views on gas prices for buses, lower heat and cooling costs, teacher pensions, building maintenance and school lunch nutrition.I think it would be nothing but efficient and awesome for parents to randomly and unilaterally make decisions on behalf of a multi-million dollar organization, at their leisure."Hello, police? Yes, I'd like to report a theft. Why yes, I will be pressing charges."What's so hard about this? She took something that doesn't belong to her and does not intend on returning it. Call. The. Police.Offered to pay for it; what a crock. If someone breaks into my luxuriously appoint Honda Civic and steals my James Brown records and offers to pay for it that's still stealing.

Recommended

Sandpiper is a well-written, unsensationalized book about the topic of teen oral sex. It is entirely appropriate for a High School library.

The family who stole it should return it or face the legal consequences.

Re:Ban the article?

You noticed!

Re:Recommended

What is also interesting about the article is people either 1) offered to pay the fine, or 2) offered to buy the library a replacement copy. Both offers result in essentially the same thing, namely, the book becomes available again in the library. The former offer, however, helps the girl at the same time as the library, while the latter helps only the library. If one were to help, why someone would not want to help both parties at the same time is beyond me.

Re:Recommended

"Sandpiper is a well-written, unsensationalized book about the topic of teen oral sex. It is entirely appropriate for a High School library."Sarah Mae, Twenty or thirty years ago publishing this statement would have lost you your career; you probably would have been ostracized from civil society and your family as well.Haven't you have jumped on an absolutist bandwagon that has taken you to the farthest reaches of nihilism, all because you believed ALA's made-up "right" for 15-year-olds to view any materials whatsoever? And because you were taught that open discussion with teens about the grunt and grind of sex is a "healthy" antidote to the "prudery" of your ancestors?Well, your "ancestors" - actually we're talking about your grandma here - were right. Some subjects are much too, shall we say, indelicate to be plopped onto the high school shelves.And , as every parent knows, having adults remove the taboos with open, "just-do-it-responsibly" helpfulness is a disastrous strategy.Think about it: for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years, your statement above would have been considered terrifically deviant by almost everyone in society. Could it be possible that they knew something you have either never learned, or forgotten?...But no, of course not...you have progressed beyond and risen above the stone-age superstitions of...your grandparents.

Re: Ban the Article?

The news article was too balanced, actually presenting the point of view of safelibraries without unduly distorting it. That sets a bad precedent for the mainstream media!

Well, perhaps that's only because it appears the reporter didn't talk to anyone else, like a librarian or lawyer, in researching the article. Had she done that, she might've found out that SafeLibraries misrepresented the CIPA decision, which has nothing to do with books or removing books from libraries.

Board of Education v. Pico is still good law and the prevailing opinion concerning the removal of books from school libraries: "Local school boards may not remove books from school libraries simply because they dislike the ideas contained in those books and seek by their removal to prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion."

In sum, minor students do have First Amendment rights and those rights can be exercised in the school library.

And theft is theft. A library is not a bookstore, and it doesn't make the crime "all right" to claim that you'll pay for the book if you're made to suffer the consequences of your bad acts. The student and her grandmother's religious or moral views have no special weight and don't give them a special pass to avoid the reconsideration procedures everyone else is required to use to object to a book.

Re:Recommended

I don't really see how the girl and her family keeping a book that offends them is helpful to anyone.

Re:Recommended

Just because my morals and values are different from yours doesn't mean that I don't have any.

I suggest that you read the book in question, then you will see that it is not sex manual that you seem to think it is.

Re:Recommended

"Just because my morals and values are different from yours doesn't mean that I don't have any."I didn't say you didn't have any, I said that for ages and ages, up until the Cultural Revolution of the 60s and 70s, your morals and values would have been more or less universally considered to be repugnant. The fact that you defend your choices with the language of moral relativism comes as no surprise."I suggest that you read the book in question, then you will see that it is not sex manual that you seem to think it is."I read the first chapter. I understand that the (adult) author thinks she is helping teen girls who engage in emotionally unhealthy short term sexual relationships to see them for what they are. As a parent however, I simply affirm that the job of talking to my teenage children about sex belongs to me, not to the high school. Her graphic descriptions of sex acts do not belong in a book placed on the open shelves of a high school, for the reasons already stated.As a side note, the author is quite calculating about how graphic to make her books; she has said in interviews that she tried to write Sandpiper in a way that would get it into at least some middle schools.

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