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 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.
In teaching the history of race in America, educators who contextualize racist language in the appropriate historical and social context can deliver a valuable lesson to students in understanding social injustice.
The book, which tells Jazz’s story of struggle with having “a girl brain but a boy body,” was brought to school in June by a transitioning kindergartner at Rocklin Academy Gateway School.