Friday, February 25, 2005


Mainstream Forum Debates Blue Valley Book Ban

More than 100 people attended the Mainstream Coalition forum, Sense or Censorship, last night at the Jewish Community Campus.

In January, Janet Harmon, demanded that Blue Valley Board of Education remove 14 books she deems indecent from the reading list. The books -- award winning literature for young adults -- are by the authors Tobias Wolff, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Barbara Kingsolver among others. As a group, the authors in question have won the Nobel Prize, The Pulitzer Prize, The National Book Award, and the PEN/Faulkner award for their writing.

Ms. Harmon submitted 500 signatures at the January board meeting -- although she admitted that many of the signers were members of her church who did not have children in Blue Valley schools.

A group of students is currently collecting signatures on a counter petition supporting the Blue Valley book review policy.

At a recent meeting the board voted to keep the current policy -- a defeat for Ms. Harmon and those who want to dumb down the reading list in the name of decency.

One forum panelist, Cal Berggren, a parent, said that district's philosophy is that humans are a depraved species and vulgarity is the norm.

University of Kansas Education professor Mickey Imber disagreed.

“One thing that strikes me about teachers," said Imber, "is that they are straight, compliant, upright people,” he said. “People in teaching are there because they believe they have a calling or mission and get a great deal of reward from working with kids.”

Red State Rabble concurs.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?