Parents try to Ban "Satanic" Books


keltd813 writes "Chestnut Ridge Middle School in Washington Township, Gloucester County, NJ recently had two books challenged, "The Devil's Storybook" and "The Devil: Great Mysteries, Opposing Viewpoints."

There was an initial article in the Gloucester County Times (Woodbury, NJ) paper after a group of parents held a rally to draw attention to the situation. A student's parents led a group of approximately 20 other concerned parents to ban the books -- and any thatwere considered books of the occult-- from school shelves. They contend that occult books and Internet material led their son to commit self-mutilation and engage in what they said was dangerous behavior. The parents have established a non-profit group called National Concerned Citizens for Youth, which they said plans to campaign throughout the nation to restrict the access to minors of material that is "satanic" in nature in public libraries and book stores.

A few days ago a very well written letter by the librarian at the school was published in the newspaper, explaining the reason why the books are an important part of the library's collection, and that they both present well rounded information about Satanism from both sides of the issue.

Later it was announced that after an internal review into the two books they have been found to be appropriate for educational purposes and will not be banned or removed from the shelf of the middle school library. The superintendent said a committee was brought together, as per the district's policy, consisting of a principal, librarian, a teacher and "two interested community members", who found the books to be "age appropriate" and "acceptable" for use by middle school students."


the story in the Courier-Post, although there's not a lot of new detail in it. It was reported that the Mellas are not satisfied with the decision:

"This is not the end, we're in it for the long haul," Tahir Mella said of the committee's decision. "If we need to go to court, we will."

Well, that's their perogative, although a court challenge will be a waste of time and resources as far as I'm concerned. I don't know if the Great Mysteries Opposing Viewpoints series is by the same people who do the Opposing Viewpoints series I'm familiar with, but it's a safe bet the book is clearly educational.

I noticed in the article that the offended group has formed the "National Concerned Citizens for Youth." Since the story originated in New Jersey, one would think that these individuals intend to recruit nationwide. Might be a good idea to keep them in our radar, not unlike we follow PABBIS, Parents Against Bad Books in Schools...

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