South Park: Banned Books

"Catcher in the Rye" is passed out in class on South Park. You can watch the full episode here. This is South Park. If you click on the link expect to hear profanity.

Parent Has a Problem with "Pants" Books for Teens

A citizen of the Fond du Lac School District has added more books to a list she wants banned from the schools.

The school district has scheduled a reconsideration hearing for 6:30 p.m. today at Fond du Lac High School to hear public comment on Ann Wentworth's request to have the book "One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies" by Sonya Sones taken off the shelves of Fond du Lac school libraries.

The popular young adult book is being challenged by Wentworth as inappropriate for students of middle school age. In addition, Wentworth is asking the district to review the following six library books at Theisen Middle School:

# "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" by Ann Brashares.
# "The Second Summer of the Sisterhood" by Ann Brashares.
# "Girls in Pants "The Third Summer of the Sisterhood" by Ann Brashares.
# "Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood" by Ann Brashares.
# "Get Well Soon" by Julie Halpern.
# "What My Mother Doesn't Know" by Sonya Sones.

Several interested persons have signed up to speak at Thursday's hearing. The district reconsideration committee will be asked to begin scheduling dates to review the other six books in question. Each book will be considered individually, according to the Fond du Lac School District.

Fond du Lac Reporter has the story.

Dousing Firewalls

Click on "Read More" to see the column as well as to get to the download link for the PDF version.

A Lot of Misplaced Passion Surrounds the Anne Frank Diary Fracas

A lot of misplaced passion surrounds the Anne Frank diary fracas
It was the word “pull” that stirred things up so much. That conjures up the word “ban” which really stirs things up. But what has now become abundantly clear, no Anne Frank books ever were removed from Culpeper schools.

P.C. Never Died

From Reason.com:
"In 2007 a student working his way through college was found guilty of racial harassment for reading a book in public. Some of his co-workers had been offended by the book’s cover, which included pictures of men in white robes and peaked hoods along with the tome’s title, Notre Dame vs. the Klan. The student desperately explained that it was an ordinary history book, not a racist tract, and that it in fact celebrated the defeat of the Klan in a 1924 street fight. Nonetheless, the school, without even bothering to hold a hearing, found the student guilty of “openly reading [a] book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject.”

Read the full story.

(Note: Trust me, it's worth the time. -AndyW)


Huffington Post: Press Freedom

Check out The Huffington Post's Press Freedom Page ("some news so big it needs its own page"), with stories on how schools in Culpeper County VA have decided to stop assigning The Diary of Ann Frank; and several other stories on banned books and censorship.

Dictionaries Pulled from CA School Shelves Due To Graphic Words

No Sex Please! We're Just Kids!:
Perhaps it's not that surprising that a mother in Menifee, California, asked the Menifee Union School District to ban all copies of the 10th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary after her child stumbled across the term "oral sex." What is surprising, indeed horrifying, is that district officials immediately complied with her request, and pulled all dictionaries off classroom shelves throughout the Southern California school district, which serves 9,000 kids, kindergarten through eighth grade.


Supreme Court Rejects Appeal Of Ban Of Bible In Show-And-Tell

Supreme Court Rejects Appeal Of Ban Of Bible In Show-And-Tell
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear the appeal of a Philadelphia woman who wasn’t allowed to read scripture during a kindergarten show-and-tell even though the Bible is her son’s favorite book.

Google to end China censorship after e-mail breach

Google to end China censorship after e-mail breach
Google Inc. will stop censoring its search results in China and may pull out of the country completely after discovering that computer hackers had tricked human-rights activists into exposing their e-mail accounts to outsiders.

Language in First Amendment Lesson Irks Middle School Parents

The parents told the school board that they were never asked or even told that their children’s librarian was going to write and use profanity as part of a lesson on controversial books.

However, when they heard what happened afterwards, from their 8th grade children In West Linn, OR, the upset parents said they were furious and in disbelief. They said the teacher exposed their kids to more than a dozen curse words (ed: I bet the kids could have taught her a few more).

“There was the “F-word” written on the board. The teacher yelled them at the kids and then asked the kids to yell them back at him," said parent Elizabeth Thiede. She also explained that her child was upset by the display that was apparently carried out as part of a language arts unit at Athey Creek Middle School.

For nearly 10 years, the school has discussed banned and controversial books as part of a successful First Ammendment curriculum. But never before has profanity been used in such a way, school district officials admitted.

NWCN.com has report and video.


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