Tag Archives: banned

Twitter: Banned Books’ New Best Friend

NYTimes – “Perhaps you’ve heard: It’s Banned Books Week, and across the country, libraries, bookstores, teachers and countless readers are celebrating “the freedom to read.” For an event like this, it never hurts to have a cause célèbre, and this year, organizers needn’t have gone very far in search of one. They just had to turn to Twitter, where people have been rallying behind the young-adult author Laurie Halse Anderson, whose best-selling 1999 novel, “Speak,” has found itself at the center of a heated censorship debate.

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10 Ways to Celebrate Banned Books Week

NYTimes – “Held annually during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of intellectual freedom and draws attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning of books across the United States, including books commonly taught in secondary schools. Here are ideas for celebrating Banned Books Week.”

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Are these books not good for our kids?

Houston Chronicle – “When books are banned in schools, it’s usually because of sex. But profanity, violence, religion, politics, race — they get their face time, too. The same issues that spark hot tempers and raised voices between friends also pit First Amendment devotees against protective parents. Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the freedom to read, begins Saturday. And for the 14th year, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas has compiled a report on books challenged and banned across the state.”

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Second library removes gay book

Courier-Post – “A gay-themed book, which was pulled from a local high school’s library after a resident objected to its content, has also been yanked from Burlington County’s library system. The county system’s decision to remove “Revolutionary Voices,” an anthology of first-person works by gay youths, was made quietly in the spring. But it’s now stirring an online furor with the release of e-mails on the issue by the county’s library director, Gail Sweet. “How can we grab the books so that they never, ever get back into circulation?” Sweet asked in one e-mail to a library employee. “Copies need to totally disappear (as in not a good idea to send copies to the book sale).” And when another librarian asked why the award-winning book was being removed, Sweet responded with two words: “Child pornography.”

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Why ‘Mockingbird’ has been challenged

Washington Post – “Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ may be considered a classic but that doesn’t mean everybody likes it.”

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Novel can’t be discussed in class, Fremont school board rules

Oakland Tribune – “As it did one year ago, the Fremont Unified school board this week shot down a proposal that would have allowed a controversial novel to be discussed in class, and said that in the future, books that have been rejected should not be brought back to them for reconsideration for at least two years. A high school teacher had asked to assign Dorothy Allison’s “Bastard Out of Carolina” as required reading for students in Advanced Placement English. The book tells the story of a girl beaten and raped by her stepfather and includes scenes of masturbation.”

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Fremont school board to review controversial book

Contra Costa Times – “A controversial novel that the school board banned from classrooms this past school year will be considered again tonight. The board meets at 6:30 tonight at City Hall, 3300 Capitol Ave. In June 2009, a high-school teacher sought permission to assign Dorothy Allison’s “Bastard Out of Carolina” to her students in her Advanced Placement English class. The book tells the story of a girl whose stepfather beat and raped her.”

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School district pulls gay-themed book

UPI – “A South Jersey school district has banned from its library one of three gay-themed books attacked by a right-wing group. The Rancocas Valley Board of Education said at a meeting Tuesday night that “Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology” included some obscene material, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The board oversees a regional high school for students in the Mount Holly area.”

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Students should be able to enjoy wide range of books, not censorship

Daily Illini – “In late January, a small Virginia town’s headlines exclaimed its public school system was pulling an “explicit text” from the curriculum of its schools. The book was criticized for its “sexually suggestive references” and comments of a “homosexual nature.” Countless other schools nationwide have pulled the same book off school and public library shelves for being “too depressing.” Even the Alabama State Textbook Committee tried to reject the book in 1983 because it was “a real downer.”

Imagine my surprise when the picture accompanying the story about what must have been an undoubtedly graphic and morbidly depressing piece of literature was that of a smiling 12-year-old Anne Frank. Though the “explicit text” was temporarily reinstalled into circulation after international uproar, the usage of this particular edition will be reviewed before deciding whether it will return to the hands of students this fall.”

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Idea of Banning Books Hangs Over Campaign Finance Debate

Legal Times – “In September, when the U.S. Supreme Court held its second round of oral argument in Citizens United v. FEC, Solicitor General Elena Kagan took the unusual step of backing away from a point made months earlier by a deputy. “The government’s answer has changed,” she said, and it no longer believes that the Federal Election Commission has the authority to restrict or ban books.”

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