Although some may understandably dislike the book’s use of racial slurs, it is essential to any realistic and pedagogically sound understanding of our nation’s history.
The groups argue the decision to immediately remove the book in response to a single complaint imposes a “heckler’s veto” on the curriculum and deprives all students of their First Amendment right to read a pedagogically valuable, National Book Award-winning novel.
The AJHS has sent a chilling and un-democratic message that art and voices that dissent from pro-Israel
orthodoxy are not to be tolerated.
The groups argue that the directive, which appears to contradict existing district policies, would lead to the exclusion of an extremely large number of books, including literary classics, from Shakespeare to Anne Frank’s A Diary of a Young Girl.
By banning or discouraging students from participating in protests against racial discrimination, police brutality and other important issues, schools not only violate their First Amendment rights but deny them the opportunity to join a national debate that can contribute to their civic education.