How accountable are public schools to every squeaking wheel? All it took were two parents complaints about a few books to elicited the most amazing, and dangerous, knee jerk reactions I've seen in years by a school district. You won't believe this "down the rabbit hole" story, from Edweek Magazine:
Just in Time for Banned Books Week: After receiving complaints from (2) parents about two books assigned to students, the Wyoming school district in Ohio has decided to implement a review system to evaluate all books (other than textbooks) on teachers' reading lists, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Under the system, a panel made up of school staff will rate each book based on criteria ranging from subject-area relevance to how likely it is to generate controversy.
"When a district puts a book on its 'Not Welcome' list, it's censorship and banning," said one parent.
However, Todd Levy, the school board president, stated that the district "will not shy away from controversial books when they have educational merit." (Obvious follow-up question: Then why are you bothering to score books on whether or not they might be controversial?)
Some teachers and parents have criticized the district for caving into "intellectual bullying" and essentially overriding teachers' judgment in recommending books. They charge the district could be veering uncomfortably close to censorship.
By reports, principals would be expected to reconsider the assignment of books that receive low scores. The new policy came in response to complaints ... about a The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
Remember, conservatives still complain about the liberal politically correct agenda in schools and colleges. Are we to believe that this isn't a case of conservative political correctness? Of course we are.
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