Thursday, September 23, 2010

#Speakloudly-Book Banning in Republic MO: Update

I thought I'd update today on the book banning controversy in my town.  I can't believe my little town is famous for something so...sad.  I really hope the school board won't make their decisions based on one man's opinion.  But they won't make any final decisions until later in the year.  Hopefully I can stay updated on my school district's decision throughout the year.  None of them have been officially banned, like Stockton's Book Ban, and I truly hope it doesn't come down to that.

But, so far:

Slaughterhouse 5 is still off the shelves as far as I know.
Twenty Boy Summer is still "on review"- which I am not sure if it's actually been pulled or not
Speak is safe, for now.

I found a helpful blog from the Office for Intellectual Freedom over at the American Library Association containing information on the recent events.  It contains a response from the Superintendent of the Republic School system on the issues brought up by Mr. Scroggins about Sex Ed classes and textbooks, but nothing about the books he requested to be removed.

Laurie Halse Anderson wrote a piece for Wednesday's editorial section of the News-Leader- you can find it HERE
She also thanked everyone who got involved in the #speakloudly campaign, here in her blog
(she gives a link to the Reclusive Bibliophile's blog that has a list of many blogs that participated in this campaign- mine's on there!  Along with many other's that I read).

Sarah Ockler also wrote a piece, HERE
And posted a video to her blog

Also, there are various opinion pieces from concerned citizens of the Springfield and Republic area, and you can find them all HERE  Make sure to look back at Tuesday 9/21 and Wednesday 9/22 because I think it updates daily with the newest opinions.  I am sure we'll have many more to come in the next few days.

I wrote to Superintendent Vern Minor as a concerned parent of the school district.  All I got in response was a "thank you for your letter".  I also got a survey from the school district (how fitting it was sent out at this point in time) and made clear my concerns over the removal of Slaughterhouse 5 and Twenty Boy Summer, as well as the consideration of removing Speak.

If one voice can get books pulled from the shelves of a school library, then I hope thousands can get them put back on.

P.S.Please feel free to add anything you might find about it in the comments section!


Jen said...

It's so sad to hear of all of this going around!!! I need to go buy Twenty Boy Summer & Speak before they are removed from the shelves, I don't want the books banned. I'm glad to see a ton of us are standing up and speaking, it's about time we stop this nonsense.

Someone made an excellent point on the blog the other day, why is it that when we come to violence or rape or other touchy topics on movies, tvs and video games it's acceptable but when we read it in a book, it's not?

How does that seem fair? At least someone has taken the time to pick up a book, or is reading what they're really after?

Colene Murphy said...

It is amazing how many people are writing out their support for these books on their blogs. I love it.

I want to say "I'm sure these books and more will be safe just because so many peoples support will surely trump the opinion of a few" but it is so hard to be positive. Need to get my copies before I can't too. Great post, and look forward to updates from a reliable source.

Abby Minard said...

I know what you mean, Jen. Kids are going to see this stuff in other mediums whether parents like it or not. Why do we keep the books in schools, so we can learn WITH them, and they can discuss them with us and their teachers instead of sneaking off and experiencing something by themselves.

Colene- It is hard to be positive. I honestly don't understand how one man got these books pulled. Hopefully with everything going on, they won't "officially" ban them.

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

From what I heard from my teacher friend, Twenty Boy Summer will be kept in the library (I knew it couldn't be banned, I mean if they ban that, they have to ban every book in the library based on something someone might be offended by!) and Speak is being kept. Slaughterhouse Five is supposed to be kept, but that's up to the board and I believe the suggestion is to keep it as a reading option for the honors classes but to let parents know it's an option and that is has language so they can opt out if they want. So it looks like all three will (hopefully) end up being kept.