Monday, September 20, 2010

#Speakloudly: in my own backyard

Imagine my horror when I opened up my blogger account last night and started to read through the blogs I subscribe to.  It started at first with someone mentioning a Missouri man who wanted to ban Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler from his local public school.  I immediately thought, "Oh great, another Missouri book banning." and "What the heck- why Speak?"  Then, there was a link to the opinion piece he wrote into our newspaper- here is the link. 

My stomach flipped up to my throat as I saw my own town as the subject.  He's trying to get books banned from MY town's schools.  They've already removed Slaughterhouse Five apparently.

Speak is about a girl who is being raped and dealing with the horrors that come with it.  Mr. Scroggins called it pornographic.  Ms. Anderson stated on her blog that she gets many many emails and letters from students saying her book finally helped them to speak out.  To get help form the horrors I hope my own daughter never has to face.  We can't shield our children from this reality- they need to know about it.  How to deal with it when it happens to them, and not to stay silent. 

I know I just had a post on the incident in Stockton, and this makes #2 in a week.  But I can't sit by while this happens in my town.  The school my daughter goes to.

The author of Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson got wind about this and blogged about it yesterday here.

That caused an explosion of blogs, tweets and posts on the Internet about this case. 

Lisa and Laura Hilton, authors of Liar Society, are doing a contest where they will donate a copy of Speak to a school/library for every 25 comments to their post here

Here is a blog post by an ACTUAL TEENAGER.  OMG, shield your eyes for the evil corruption spewing out of her blog. 

Another contest- Sarah Ockler, the author of Twenty Boy Summer (one of the books mentioned by Scroggins) is giving away a Wesley Scroggins Filthy Book Prize Pack here

Please, if you want to take a stand and Speak out, write to the Superintendent Vern Minor or to the high school principal. 

NO ONE has the right to censor what your child reads besides you.  If you don't want them to read it, then fine.  But don't tell my child what she can or can't read.  I will decide that for myself.


Colene Murphy said...

I loved reading The Juniper Breeze entry. I loved that it was a teen from Missouri speaking out against this heathen! Great post. Must Linky you!

aleah said...

A "Wesley Scroggins Filthy Book Prize" Pack? I'll take 3!

Anonymous said...

I just don't understand banning all these books! How does anyone have a right to tell someone else what they may or may not read. It's ridiculous!

Vicky B said...

I'm so glad that we have people like you, in that town, standing up against this. I feel so useless to do anything living all the way in Texas. You can make a difference, and so can your friends! Speak out!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for speaking up, Abby.

I have seen several instances where the controversy over a book in the high school leads to important discussions and ultimately helps to bring a community together. It is my heart-felt wish that you will experience this in Republic.

Laurie Halse Anderson

Abby Minard said...

Thank you Laurie- I only hope it will bring our community together. I just sent out my letter to the Superintendent. Thanks for all you do!

Unknown said...

I was just over at C.E.'s blog and saw your comment as far as wishes are concerned for Mr. Scorggins and just had to follow!!!!

I loved this blog post! It's amazing to here everyone getting together to let Laurie's voice be heard with such an awful thing having come up!

Jessica said...

I am so proud of you and the attention you are bringing to this issue. I actually got a little misty eyed reading your blog and I loved Speak!

Abby Minard said...

C.E.- thanks- I know- who whould have thought? A teen actually making sense?

Aleah- me too! And then I'll stand on street corners in Republic and distribute them to teens.

Angela- I know, no one should be able to tell my daughter what she can or cannot read.

Thank you Vicky- I hope we can overturn these bannings!

Jen- thanks so much! I have to admit was freaking out last night when I read all those blog posts about it. Now I just hope we can do something about it.

Jess- thanks :)

Andy said...

Another great post Abby! You are absolutely right. I am glad that you took the time to write the superintendent. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

I've read the article in which you reference. Where exactly does Mr. Scroggins request for the books to be banned?

Unknown said...

I'm sorry this is happening in your hometown school but thankfully you have the support of hundreds of others. We are all willing to fight!

Abby Minard said...

Thanks Andy- I wonder if I'll hear back??

Anon- he wants them banned from the high school curriculum as well as the library. I think two of the books are on reading lists- Speak, and Slaughterhouse Five. I think Twenty Boy Summer is just on the shelves on the library- I'll have to look that up though and make sure.

Anne- thanks for the comment- we need all the support we can get to fight this!

Anonymous said...

Abby, thanks for the response. I just reread his article and it just says for parents and taxpayers to use caution and get involved. Didn't see anything about removing them or banning them.

Andy said...

Here is a link to his document that he sent to the school board:$FILE/School%20Board%20Presentation%20(Scroggins).pdf

Which includes and I quote:

"Requested Action from the Board
The Republic School Board should take the following actions:
1) Remove the above mentioned books from the English curriculum.
2) Identify and remove any other books that teach similar content.
3) Remove all R‐rated movies from the curricula in all subjects."

Abby Minard said...

Anon- yeah, Andy linked to the document requesting to remove them. He mentioned his review but didn't really talk about his 29-page document he submitted requesting to remove the items in June.

I'm sorry if the link to the article did not have that. Also, the editor's note at the end states that they spoke with the Superintendent, and were told that Slaughterhouse Five was removed, and Twenty Boy Summer is on review. They didn't mention Speak, so I am assuming it made it through this time.

Thanks for the link Andy.

Natalie said...

Awesome post! It's so great to see people from the community taking action!

Abby Minard said...

Thanks Natalie- it's great to see people from Springfield involved too!

Tammy said...

Thank you for taking a stand against censorship and your excellent post. You're fighting the good fight!

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