NCAC and other free speech organizations sent a letter to the Waukesha School District in regard to efforts made to remove Looking for Alaska by John Green, Chinese Handcuffs by Chris Crutcher, and The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini in classrooms and libraries, and to reject the idea of “red-flagging books that deal with sex, rape, extreme violence and brutality, and animal cruelty.”
In a previous letter to the board, the co-signatories noted that “Decisions about instructional materials should be based on sound educational grounds.” The follow-up letter highlights that the proposal to red-flag books “is equivalent to putting a scarlet letter on the book covers.”
The signatories of the letter articulate that red-flagging books is both constitutionally suspect and educationally ill-advised, referring to the National Council of Teachers of English‘s Position Statement regarding ratings and warning labels for books: “‘Red-flagging’ privileges the concerns of would-be censors over the professional judgment of teachers and librarians…[and] narrow the curriculum to only books that are deemed ‘safe’…”
The signatories hope that the school board will honor the decisions of the Consideration Committees and decide against adopting red flags. The board will meet tomorrow, October 8, to discuss the issue.
For more information, read the press release.