It appears that it’s that season again – the time when parents and community members decide to care enough about public schools and their students’ education to get involved. Unfortunately, it always seems to be THIS kind of involvement, rather than positive support. There are three new challenges against YA titles that have occurred in the last two weeks.
The most recent that I’ve seen involves a well known and revered YA Science Fiction “classic”, Ender’s Game, in a South Carolina school district. I’ve included a link to the Wall Street Journal article.
Looking for Alaska by John Green is being challenged (again) in Knoxville, Tennessee. Here’s a link to the article in the Knoxville paper. Then, take a look at this video that explains the controversy and gives background of how this book is relevant and why it’s important to READ THE ENTIRE BOOK before passing judgement.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is also being challenged as a teacher looks to include it in the curriculum in a small town in Alabama but as of yet, no permanent decisions have been made about the book.
The question in my mind is: Why does it seem that Southerners (of which group I am a member) seem to hold the monopoly on banning and opposing things on the grounds of “morality and family values” whilst destroying those very things with the way they go about making their complaints? Attacking someone’s character because of choices she makes about her own body or how to raise one’s children or what to teach or who to love goes against morality and values, does it not? Let’s use a little perspective and *gasp* logic, shall we? And remember that by creating a public outcry about these books, you may be doing exactly what you’re trying to prevent: getting kids to read these books.