Mar 5, 2007
Livingston County Prosecutor David Morse struck a blow for common sense and freedom and a blow to censorship by ruling today that the books the anti-gay hate group known as the “LOVE” PAC (Livingston Organization for Values in Education) is trying to ban from Howell High School do not violate state laws, according to the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus.
The only questions now remains what took Mr. Morris so long to make the obvious choice, and what will the next move be from Vicki Fyke, the leader of the hate group and the Livingston County Teen Age Republicans, and her ally Gary Glenn, the head of the anti-gay American Family Association of Michigan.
As most of the country now knows, the “love” group has been waging a losing book banning battle for the past four months against “The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them,” Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison's first novel, "The Bluest Eye," an acclaimed memoir written by Richard Wright in 1945, "Black Boy " and the classic Kurt Vonnegut novel "Slaughterhouse Five.” The group falsely claims they are pornographic.
After a review of the books by the School Board and a vote to reinstate and keep them in the junior AP English class, Fyke sent a letter last month to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, Stephan J. Murphy; Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox and Livingston County Prosecutor David Morse claiming the books violate child pornography laws and further makes the ridiculous claim that the books' presence in high school classrooms violates the law by disseminating sexually explicit material to minors.
The FBI is actually investigating the federal claim, and we will not have an answer from them for some time.
“After reading the books in question it is clear that the explicit passages illustrated a larger literary, artistic or political message and were not included solely to appeal to the prurient interests of minors," Morse wrote in a letter to Fyke. "Whether these materials are appropriate for minors is a decision to be made by the school board, but I find they are not in violation of the criminal laws."
I have to admit that some of Morse’s public statements and the fact he took three weeks to make this common sense decision had me a little worried. But he did a good job, and now I just hope the newspaper asks him why it took three weeks to reach that obvious decision.