Jan 22, 2007
The pitchforks and torches will be out tonight at the Howell Public School Board of Education meeting as a group of book burners try and rid the high school of such classics as Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut and "Black Boy" by Richard Wright.
According to Howell Radio station WHMI, the leaders of an anti-gay hate group known as LOVE (Livingston Organization for Values in Education) circulated an e-mail among the group’s supporters, including LOVE member and School Board Member Wendy Day, asking their supporters to turn out in force to oppose the approval of proposed curriculum adoptions, revisions and changes that apparently include the reading list for English classes. The group’s leader, Vicki Fyke, is reportedly also calling for the ouster of Howell Superintendent Chuck Breiner. He is one of the most respected superintendents in the state.
The book burners first came to light about three months ago with the book “The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them.” It was approved for advanced 10th grade English class, but the group caused a flap over the book’s alleged profanity and references to drugs and sex acts. After a review the book – now a current major motion picture staring Hillary Swank - was reinstated. Apparently, some other classics not meet the standards of this small-minded group.
The so-called LOVE political action committee sprang up like a bad penny last year in response to a diversity flag they mistakenly labeled a gay pride flag. This hate group fielded its own candidates, and Day actually won. In fact, she was the only candidate endorsed by both the county GOP – for the first time in a nonpartisan race - and the hate group.
To further ensure our young people have a narrow view of the world, Fyke is also the advisor for the Livingston County Teen Age Republicans.
The only good that has come out of this entire fiasco is it has enhanced my reading list. If they don’t want you to read it, there must be educational value to it and worth reading. It is also demonstrating to the majority of Howell residents - the non-wings nuts - just how extreme these people really are.