Dec 26, 2006
We have another case of so-called community leaders overreacting and practicing censorship.
For the last two months or so there has been a flap over Howell High School banning – or pulling - a book from its advanced 10th grade English class called “The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them" because of the book’s alleged profanity and references to drugs and sex acts. The district’s administration basically left the English teacher using the book out to dry by saying she never had approval to use the book in class.
For those of you who may have been watching TV recently, you may have seen the trailer for a film called “Freedom Writers” starring Hilary Swank that is based on this book. According to the plot line, “A young teacher (Swank) inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and pursue education beyond high school. “ We do not want our young people learning tolerance, especially in conservative Livingston County.
It turns out that the book was used last year in class, and the book was approved by the English Department, according to an excellent article in the Daily Press & Argus by a good friend of mine and a future teacher.
A joint statement, signed by 17 English teachers at Howell High School, said the book was approved as a supplemental part of the curriculum by the Howell High School English department last year.
Ms. Capy is teaching the book because she was assigned to teach both of the two sections of accelerated 10th-grade English this year," the statement said. "It needs to be made clear that she has no responsibility whatsoever in the approval of the book other than being a voting member of the English department. The criticism of her by a few members of the community is completely unjustified."
Some of that unjustified criticism ”by a few members of the community” came in a letter to the editor in the newspaper today by Vicki Fyke, where she says, “It will be interesting to see if our administrators or our school board have the courage to enforce their policies and reprimand this irresponsible teacher for her total neglect in following the proper procedures and for not being the least bit sorry once she was scolded.” Maybe you should check your facts before you throe out unjustified accusations, Ms. Fyke.
The interesting thing about this letter is Ms. Fyke is the advisor for the Livingston County Teen Age Republicans. What a great job for an intolerant person, and she can pass that on to our future leaders. Apparently, she thinks only students with perfect records are worth educating. I suggest you read the book and go see the movie. Oh yea, I forgot, Liberal Hollywood is not going to stop you from being intolerant.