TX Board decides to keep books

South Texas school district’s school board voted unanimously to keep Brave New World and Stranger in a Strange Land, while giving parents more control over their children’s choices by requiring principals to automatically offer an alternative to a challenged book. Full Story.

"I don’t feel that I should be carrying them around, much less be forced to read them," Outland said. "I believe in the freedom to read. But I also believe in the freedom not to read. I don’t want to be forced to read these books if they go against my values and the values of the community. This is not censorship, this is not banning. This is freedom."

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Interesting

Ordinarily, I would say of Ms. Outland: what a stupid child; can't she ask to be assigned an alternate for herself?

However, while I was thinking that it suddenly occured to me that a key fact had not been reported in the articles about this incident: Are there alternate works and what are they?

That point aside, however, and simple-minded protestations to the contrary, this was a censorship incident.

Re:Interesting

I think I need to trade in my brain for a newer model. I wrote this:

However, while I was thinking that it suddenly occured to me that a key fact had not been reported in the articles about this incident: Are there alternate works and what are they?

This is wrong. The information can be found in the third paragraph to Ms. Zeleznik's article. There was no option for alternates, they will put on in place.

Re:Interesting

Every librarian should be required, whenever they come to a new library job, to take a hammer and chisel, and to pound deep into the portal of their new library the words: "There is something here to challenge your deepest religious beliefs, community values and philosophical ideas. If you cannot find these items, please see your librarian for assistance..."

Re:Interesting

I'm surprised no one has made the obvious comment about how Outland-ish her views are. ;)

TX board decides to keep books

While summers are busy for most parents, why can't they skim a book? How about shutting off the TV!
Perhaps the remark:"not enough time to read all those assigned books" is truly to be perceived as "I am not interested in putting that much time or thought into my parenting, and I am afraid my child won't think the same way as I do".
Those specific titles were life-influencing books for me in 10th grade. I hope to discuss them with my teens, and reread from my more experienced perspective, but will probably be embarrassed during some parts of the discussions.

the good news

It seems to me that the key point here is the GOOD news: the school board did not allow the censorship bullies to dictate curriculum content for the larger group, but only the reading material for their own children. I see this as an excellent development.As I have commented elsewhere, I have no problem with parents making these kinds of decisions on their children's behalf, if that's their household political climate. What they should NOT be able to do -- and here have (so far) not succeeded in doing, is block the rest of the class from studying the "vulgar" (heh!) works of Huxley and Heinlein.The only real loser I see in this situation is the poor teacher, who now has to teach different books to different sets of student within the same class. Should be interesting ...I, too, would be keen to find out what alternative titles are ultimately deemed acceptable by the crusading parents. I would hope that it falls to the faculty to propose alternatives for approval, rather than allowing individual parents to randomly pick (I have visions of lots of "Left Behind" ...).

Re:the good news

"The only real loser I see in this situation is the poor teacher, who now has to teach different books to different sets of student within the same class. Should be interesting ..."Well, that's exactly the problem. If the teacher can choose a safe book that will promote a coherent classroom, or try to teach multiple books at once, the teacher will become censor.

Re:the good news

How would teaching multiple books at once be censorship?A damnable pain in the arse, yes -- but censorship? Maybe I'm missing something.

Re:the good news

Teaching multiple books at once wouldn't be censorship, but it would be difficult. Teachers are already over-worked in most places, so it's likely that they will choose to teach one "safe" book because it's easier and takes less time to plan the lessons.

Re:the good news

My teachers used to routinely assign me different reading than the rest of the class--not because I or my parents objected to the standard list, but because of the oft-justified suspicion that I'd already read the standard selection. They had lesson plans on hand for several books, were often teaching the alternate book in another class, and didn't seem to find it a major problem. And, I may be misremembering, but doesn't this case involve the summer reading list? Lesson plan problems don't have the same weight there, and we used to also have lists that contained more books than we were expected to read. Somebody or other thought that, presented with a long list of "good" books to choose from, we'd learn something even if we didn't all read exactly the same selection of them.

Re:the good news

"and we used to also have lists that contained more books than we were expected to read."

I clearly remember my high school having the standard set for everyone in whatever track you were in (remedial, average, honors) and then a group of three or so that you had to select one or two to read in addition to the standard set. You never had a class where everyone read the exact same set of books over the summer.

teachers become the censors?

(or how a strident minority can overcome a compassionate majority)True, that can happen. As long as other people are willing to cave into what the radicals want, just because they whine. The solution for this is for other parents to completely boycott 'Left Behind' as appropriate for their children (or a gentle strength, etc)-- Ender, Duke_of_URL
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