On Friday, yet another school official managed to attempt to openly ban a book. Cory Doctorow's book Little Brother was removed from a summer reading program because of its “positive view of questioning authority, lauding 'hacker culture', and sex and sexuality in passing.” This was the act of the principal of the Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, FL. In the end, the entire summer reading program was ended. The book is on the optional list for students in 11th grade now but it's sad that one man could nix a reading program that might have proved to be educational for students.
Cory Doctorow and his publisher Tor are sending 200 copies of the book to the school for free. He has a great response here. I think it's brilliant. I also think the principal was an idiot for stopping the summer program.
I will admit I haven't read the book, but what I've read about it I can't see anything wrong with it. I'm not a school administrator, but from what I understand the book was already approved before the principal decided to yank it.
I have a problem with schools trying to stop students from reading what they think might be controversial books. In Idaho, a book that parents and administrators felt was too much for the teenagers, The True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, was banned because of some parts the adults didn't think the children should read – including discussions of profanity and masturbation. 10Th graders already know about that for the most part. I don't see any reason why they shouldn't be allowed to read it. A student got some free copies and was passing them out in a park to kids who wanted to read them. Parents called the police on her because they didn't approve of it.
I know I posted about the thought of trigger warnings on books. I could see both sides of the argument. I rescind my view in that post. Trigger warnings should not be put on books. Banning books because of content should not be allowed. People should read books that challenge their views on the world, that are disturbing to them, to get them to think.