Some good and bad news for you today, folks, on the fifth day of Banned Books Week…
First the good news:
In Pennsylvania, Downingtown West High School followed model procedure in addressing a challenge against Laurie Halse Anderson’s Twisted. We are please to report school officials and parents resolved the issue amicably through discussion. For more information click here. Also be sure to check out NCAC’s Book Censorship Toolkit which includes model complaint policies and procedures.
Also in PA, Principal Hatala reportedly received the Kids’ Right to Read Project’s official letter and after considering its message decided to remove the expurgated copies of The Glass Castle from the curriculum. We are still waiting to hear whether the books will be replaced.
and now for the bad news…
In Leesburg, Florida after fourteen months of meetings between library and city officials, the complaints, and community members, the City Commission voted to separate high school age books from young adult novels in the local public library by a 4-1 vote. Books which are deemed to be high school level will be moved to a separate section near the stairwell and will be labeled with a sticker. Categorization of the books will be based on “standard book reviews,” but this, as Commissioner Sanna Henderson noted, “is going to open a big can of worms.” To find out more about the book challenges at Leesburg Public Library click here.
Finally, there is a new challenge to report, this time at Wyoming High School in Cincinnati where the district has, according to a local parent, “set the stage for intellectual bullying.” Following two parents objections to Asne Seierstad’s The Bookseller of Kabul and Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the district reportedly decided to review all of the books on its reading lists. Yesterday, at a packed meeting the Wyoming district school board backed the superintendent’s call for this review, deciding that a school staff committee will score each book using a set of criteria that includes whether the book is likely to cause controversy.