Friday, February 18, 2011

Book Banning in Bedford -- Knowledge, don't come around here no more

To Bedford Superintendent of Schools Tim Mayes:
I read with great alarm and more than a little revulsion Greg Kwasnik's article "Sex passage gets another book pulled in Bedford", regarding Aimee and Dennis Taylor's efforts to have Sara Gruen's novel Water for Elephants taken out of the school library -- on the heels of their "victory" in getting Nickel and Dimed removed from the library stacks.

I'm writing to voice my disappointment and, frankly, my disgust in you and other school officials who capitulated to the Taylors' unreasonable demands.

Fine if the Taylors don't want their child reading certain books, but to block everyone's access to the texts is reprehensible. And even more egregious for the school board to go along with their ideology-based demands.

I come from a family of teachers and have great respect for the profession. I know how tight the budgets are and the considered deliberation that goes into procuring books for school libraries. These decisions are not whims. They're informed decisions made by professional educators who have students' well-being and education front of mind.

I just wish that Bedford had some administrators who possessed some back bone.

You understand, I hope, that by caving in to the Taylors' unreasonable demands, you're only encouraging them to find more books in the school library objectionable so they can go through the same farce of getting those removed.

It's particularly galling that this is happening in the state where the motto is "Live free or die."

I've written two blog articles on this matter so far: Article #1 and Article #2 in which I take Dennis Taylor to task for his ignorance and his arrogance.

The administrators of the Bedford school system have done their students a grave disservice by folding in the face of adversity, demonstrating that certain ideas can be "dangerous," and putting knowledge a little further out of reach.

You know, there was a time when courage was viewed as an admirable trait; when people stood up for what they believed in and didn't simply fold when a zealot came forward with a unreasonable request.
Whetam Gnauckweirst

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