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Books Education United States

53% More Book Banning Incidents In US Schools This Year 360

Posted by Soulskill
from the who-bans-the-banners dept.
vikingpower writes "Isabel Allende's The House of The Spirits. Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. Ralph Ellison's The Invisible Man. What do these titles have in common? They are banned at a school in the U.S. Yes, in 2013. A project named The Kids' Right to Read Project (by the National Coalition Against Censorship ) investigated three times the average number of incidents, adding to an overall rise in cases for the entire year, according to KRRP coordinator Acacia O'Connor. To date, KRRP has confronted 49 incidents in 29 states this year, a 53% increase in activity from 2012. During the second half of 2013, the project battled 31 new incidents, compared to only 14 in the same period last year. 'It has been a sprint since the beginning of the school year,' O'Connor said. 'We would settle one issue and wake up the next morning to find out another book was on the chopping block. The NCAC also offers a Book Censorship Toolkit on its website."
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53% More Book Banning Incidents In US Schools This Year

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  • by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @05:20PM (#45832505)

    More people have been persecuted, hounded, ruined, tortured, burned, murdered, and just exterminated en-masse because of a book called the Bible than any other document in human history including Mein Kampf and Das Capital put together.

    Just sayin' .

  • by sconeu (64226) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @05:36PM (#45832671) Homepage Journal

    This "Bible" book condones a hell of a lot of stuff:

    • Incest (Lot & his daughters)
    • Terrorism (see the 10 plagues)
    • Biological warfare (again, see the 10 plagues)
    • Genocide
    • Rape

    It clearly should be banned.

  • OTT headline? (Score:5, Informative)

    by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @05:50PM (#45832809)
    "53% More Banning Incidents"

    No, they're investigated 53% more requests. The linked article says nothing about how many were actually banned.
    And the majority of requests were from parents or library patrons, not school districts or state/local govts.

    49 cases. Is that idiocy? Are these idiots? Sure. But good grief....49 cases out of how many million kids and parents?

    Alternate non-OTT headline - "0.002% of parents in the US have requested a book be banned in their local school library."
    You could find a greater percentage of people complaining about just about anything.
  • by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @05:57PM (#45832863)

    I don't buy it. People will do for each other out of a natural inborn sense of decency. No religious exhortations needed. Christians didn't invent civilization, civil law, democracy , representative government, the concept of Rights or the concept of a shared, general welfare. These are the things that keep us from sliding back down in barbarism.

    OTOH as is widely evident, nations founded on religious "values" are only too happy to slide back into barbarism. There is a direct, inverse relationship between how religious a nation is and how equitable and egalitarian it is. That's not for nothing. The more religious the state, Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia , Yemen Pakistan India the worse off religious minorities and women in those nations have it- they're just much less equitable to their populations.

    Even amongst developed countries this relationship holds. Canada is more equitable than the US and Denmark and the Netherlands are even more equitable than Canada. Religion is the go-to reason why some people should be privileged over others, why some people should be displaced, disenfranchised even killed. It's just a historical fact.

    If you want to tell me that ystic Sufis, Sikhs and Zen Buddhists are peaceble grass munching bunny-people then I'm not interested in arguing about THAT kind of religious endeavor which may even have something positive to contribute to society. But evangelical Christians for instance, believe that it ultimately doesn't matter what you DO in this life, good or bad, because either your name was written in the Book of Life at the start of all time or it wasn't and if it was, you're going to heaven and if not, fuck you, you're going to hell and that's all there is to morality. They don't say this explicitly but it's a basic tenant of their sick fundamentalism. I am sure in other religions there are correspondingly demented core beliefs. See www.religionofpeace.com for details .

    This may be new to some readers. Book:

    God is not Great- Chris Hitchens

    Point is, the people doing this banning are fundamentalist or evangelical Christians whose own book has caused untold real world suffering, unlike , say Tropic of Cancer or House of Spirits, for instance.

    See the point?

  • by jythie (914043) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @06:04PM (#45832895)
    It is hard to say, but keep in mind a lot of regions are going through a 'poor abused white man, any mention or discussion of racism is just libs trying to take down white people!'. There were several attempts to get teachers fired this year because they made 'white male students' uncomfortable.
  • Re:Ban or Censor? (Score:4, Informative)

    by bickerdyke (670000) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @06:17PM (#45832989)

    If it was a money problem, public libraries would offer a convinient solution.

    The true luxury that "privileged" kids have are parents who manage to get them intrested in reading.

  • by darnkitten (1533263) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @07:33PM (#45833445)

    Politics, probably. There's a lot of backlash against political correctness - some people would see reading such a book in schools as 'liberal indoctrination' intended to make white people feel guilty about being white.

    I'd give you odds it's the reverse - that someone searched through an eBook library and banned every one with racial epithets regardless of context.

    Usually, anymore, it is an organization that specializes in book or curriculum challenges. It will have a list of "objectionable" materials; downloadable complaints; challenges with page numbers and everything included; and all the press releases needed. The parent/teacher/administrator/pastor/insert authority figure does not even have to read the book.

    Check out the Parents Action League's Book Alert Page (sorry, can't remember how to insert a link) for an example.

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @11:14PM (#45834589) Homepage Journal

    While I am a really tired of PC I do not think that is the reason.
    Of course my school didn't ban books. It had a far better solution. In my Jr. High School they had a small book shelf that had books that required parents permission. One of the books on that shelf was Brave New World which I will never understand being restricted since it was anti drug and anti casual sex. It was not a problem for me since my parents gave me permission to read what ever.
    In High School they put the books like Catch 22 and Slaughter House 5 in the "young adults room". You had to be in 11th or 12th grade to go in but for some reason it was never open. They where always using it for projects and such. Very effective way to not have the books cause a problem.

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