To Read or Not To Read is the Question
by KYW’s Dr. Marciene Mattleman
Censorship isn’t new. Censorship News, the newsletter of the National Coalition against Censorship, reports that censoring books has been around for generations.
Recently in Indiana the school administration of Franklin Township pulled Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon from an advanced placement English class while the students were only halfway through the book.
Some parents tried to make sure their kids wouldn’t read Morrison’s book and, while many were vehement, others were more modulated in condemning the choice. One parent said, “Censorship isn’t illegal or unconstitutional or even wrong. In this case it’s appropriate. Students can read on their own time. There’s no good reason to put the book in a classroom.”
To quote another response “The goal of reading (and most other education) is to expose the student to new ideas that promote thought. The teachers didn’t condone the novel but talked about it and its effect on people. That’s teaching and learning. What we expect teachers and students to do.”
One parent said, “Now I want to read the book.”
Bottom line: the book has subsequently been returned to the classroom.