To Read or Not to Read

In the Highland Park school district, there was a recent debate over the school reading list and what material is appropriate for required reading. Seven books including the popular title The Glass Castle were suspended from the reading list and are under further review because of parental complaints. These parents in question most definitely have a right and responsibility to protect their children from things which they deem evil or unacceptable (sex scenes, drugs, alcohol, etc.), so the school district has done the right thing in reviewing these books which contain questionable content.

To me, the committees consisting of parents and teachers which review the books seem fair. They will most likely come to the decision that these books, although they explore difficult themes and should not be completely avoided, should be confined to libraries instead of required reading lists. Such a solution not only pleases the concerned guardians but also retains a chance for those other more accepting students to read these novels. For the teachers, this might seem like a disappointment since studying and evaluating mature literature and themes is an important part of our education, but they shouldn’t be totally at a loss. Instead of using modern texts like those which were suspended, teachers could choose less explicit, more conservative works from the past which often focus on similar topics but in a more socially acceptable way. This way, nobody is forced into reading sinful works while studying of important and mature topics can still continue in full force through English classes.

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2 thoughts on “To Read or Not to Read

  1. Ok. I understand where your coming from for the whole making everything fair thing, but really, the parents shouldn’t have to feel like they need to shelter their children from anything. This is public school, and their children are probably doing things that they don’t even know about. If you have a child that is anywhere within 2 years of living on their own then there should be no need to shelter them if you know they are going into the real world. its just hard for me to wrap my head around.

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    1. You are definitely right about that- parents shouldn’t need to hide their children from important themes. Sometimes though, they end up doing it anyway and it just isn’t right for us to refuse their requests completely- we have to at least acknowledge their point of view.

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