North Carolina Superintendent bans MLK-themed novel from 10th-grade classes because one parent complained about language

Originally published at: North Carolina Superintendent bans MLK-themed novel from 10th-grade classes because one parent complained about language | Boing Boing



Welp, I’ll post this here, too:

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As a practicing librarian, this kind of shit really bothers and annoys me.


I bet. Why, if I were a librarian, it would drive me bloody mad!


As a non-librarian, but admirer of librarians, I concur…

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It should annoy and bother all of us…


If your kids are resorting to the sexual assault scene in The Kite Runner to fill their porn needs then maybe it’s time to just cave in and buy them a dirty magazine.


Well of course, the REAL reason is that the book humanizes brown people and we can’t have that now, can we! /s

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Strikes me that therapy might be a good idea, too.

  1. WTF is this “age of consent” term he keeps using. Age at which profanity is ok?? Your precious SF can handle bad words.

  2. “Words picked up in middle school…” oh dear, if you think your kids learned cuss words as late as middle school, I have bad news for you. Unless they were exceptionally sheltered. See above.

  3. It isn’t a “Text book”, it is just a book. You’re supposed to read the book and then discuss it.

  4. Hypothetically, what if they did produce a book with the profanity altered to “F***, S***, G** D***, etc” Would this guy be 100% ok with it? Or is he using profanity as an excuse?

  5. I don’t recall reading too much stuff in HS with profanity. I feel like some Shirley Jackson had a little. But my 14-16 year old self would probably think that book is cool as hell. Hellacious, we used to day. I remember one kid who was in forensics found a script about masturbation and a cored apple and we all giggled about it.

  6. The fact the superintendent removed the book from the class with out reading it, or I am assuming even discussing it with the teacher is a dereliction of duty.


Stephen King on Censorship:
"[…] What I tell kids is, Don’t get mad, get even. Don’t spend time waving signs or carrying petitions around the neighborhood. Instead, run, don’t walk, to the nearest nonschool library or to the local bookstore and get whatever it was that they banned. Read whatever they’re trying to keep out of your eyes and your brain, because that’s exactly what you need to know.”

Having said that, fuck this guy and fuck this superintendent for coming from the same satchel of richards.


Um, no. That SHOULD be part of it, actually, Stephen. Just buying book isn’t the only solution, because part of what happens in a school is that the teacher guides the student into the meaning of the work and into some themes that they might not get. Sure… buying the book is great, but it’s not just about access, it’s also about understanding in a bigger way…


Also, the teacher gave the parent the option of having their kid read a different book, but that wasn’t acceptable to them - they demanded no one be allowed to read it. Also, the principal has tweeted some somewhat racist things in the past. And of course, it almost doesn’t need to be said, other books with identical language (written and starring white people) weren’t considered objectionable.

Or, more likely, part of his own agenda, and the parent complaint was an excuse.


FWIW - I found a synopsis of the book. It looks like it tackles a lot of issues that makes you think, and isn’t some glossed over story.


I may have posted his quote and my thoughts on the ‘persons’ who are in the story, but I agree 100% that protesting is needed and that Do It Yourself is good to take in the contents, but context [and learning] can be best explored with a guide, like your bloody 10th grade English teacher FFS. <directed at superintendent.


FYI, Nolte is a bit of a raging asshole racist anyway…


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Is it time to start making a stink about those books or is that counter productive?


I’d suspect it would be counter-productive, unless you target books that these people would want to include in the curriculum, like the Christian bible… Start advocating for banning the bible, and that might get their attention.


I think even then it would be counter-productive, as there will always be a double standard at play, some (increasingly inconsistent) reason why one book will stay and another will go.


Probably. But maybe it would be worth it to call them on their bullshit and let people see what they’re really objecting to.