Alaska school board rescinds ban of classic books (Reports).

Following widespread protest by local citizens and national groups, including National Coalition Against Censorship, an Alaska school board has voted 6 to 1 to rescind its decision to remove five classic works of fiction from the reading list for 11th grade English classes.

Students will once again be able to read:

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.

READ  Two successful Powerball tickets offered in NY, Iowa

Prior to the vote on May 20, Jim Hart, the vice president of the board of the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough School District in Palmer, Alaska, argued that a passage from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings depicting the author being raped as a child was “inappropriate” for high school students.

“This is one of the most banned books, and I mean banned, removed books in the country and precisely for this content,” Hart said.

READ  Kīlauea volcano's lava varieties new land off Hawaii's coast

Superintendent Monica Goyette replied that it was a mistake to judge the book by an isolated passage. She added that teachers provide the context for understanding difficult material.

Several dozen residents protested outside the district offices prior to the meeting. Kate Steagall, a high school student, told a reporter that she objected to the way young people were being portrayed. “To be told that we’re not mature enough to read these books or we need to be protected is kind of annoying,” she said.

READ  Mumford & Sons: Behind the scenes of their fourth album, Delta

On April 29, NCAC sent a letter to the Mat-Su school board urging it to remove its ban. “The Board’s action establishes a poor policy, which is both educationally and legally suspect, and is also disrespectful of the professional expertise of the District’s educators,” it said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here