Saturday, March 12, 2005

Know-Nothings update

Christopher Crutcher's book Whale Talk has been banned from a high school library in Alabama.

This class of citizens is making it their business to decide what "other people's children" have the right to read. A parent certainly has the power to guide their own child's reading life but censors have no right to make reading rules for my child.

The Limestone County school board voted 4-3 to ban the book Whale Talk last week from the Ardmore High School library after a parent complained that it contained offensive language.

Crutcher has a thoughtful and insightful response. As a child therapist, he knows the world he writes about.
Read the whole thing!

Whale Talk is a tough book, but it is also a compassionate book, about telling the truth and about redemption. I didn’t draw the tough parts out of thin air; they are stories handed to me by people in pain.

When a teacher looks out over his or her classroom, he/she is looking at one in three girls who have been sexually mistreated, one in five boys. That doesn’t take into consideration the number of kids who have been beaten, locked up, or simply never allowed to be good enough. Stories are buffered in fiction and therefore allow discussion of issues that would not otherwise be brought up. They save many students. I’d think twice before I allowed them to be taken away.

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