Last night, the Coeur d’Alene School Board voted unanimously to return 26 titles (among them Brave New World, Tom Sawyer, and Alice in Wonderland) to district middle and high school classrooms. A committee of educators had reviewed them and recommended that they be approved by the board for classroom use. The board voted in November in a 2-2 split vote on Brave New World. The books were removed before school started this year in order to comply with the district’s evaluation process for curriculum materials, which district officials say was not followed before.
The Spokesman Review covered the story. Here’s how the review process is affecting students:
Sam Fortis, a 15-year-old Lake City High School freshman, said the idea of removing books from classrooms makes him feel that parents, educators and administrators don’t trust him to come to his own conclusions about the concepts in books. He said his teachers’ smooth handling of discussions on literary topics ranging from racial violence to sexual content have helped him learn and grow through “mature discussion.”
“The wide variety of books in the schools teaches kids to be well-rounded and open-minded human beings,” Fortis said. “When you take away the books you think are not okay for me, you are taking away my freedom of thought. You are taking away pieces of me.”