Idaho: Parental Outrage can be misguided – bans Sherman Alexie book


This trend is not new but still a threat to free thinking, diverse education and even democratic civil society. It’s a school boards right to select materials but blanket censorship of award winning nationally recognized books, especially aboriginal or ethnic cultural groups is close to the book burning horrors we witnessed in Nazi Germany. Parents are claiming its anti-Christian but I’m sure aboriginal people have found many books in schools that prejudice Native Americans. We need more than tolerance. We need engagement and acceptance of our differences and our journeys. Literature, even if frank or profane, is sometimes troubling talking point for educators, parents and students when age appropriate and thoughtfully utilized. We wouldn’t read Alexie ‘a book to grade 5 kids no more than Shakespeare Romeo Juliet or do why not ban the bard too? Schools and community need to trust their educators with professional judgement and communicate concerns not just censor everything out if fear. In the hands of a mindful professional teacher this book will save kids and keep them in school and even engaged in a healthy life.

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
    Book by Sherman Alexie

“The largest school district in Idaho has banned from its curriculum an award-winning book about the struggles of a Native American teenager after complaints by parents that the novel was rife with profanity, racial epithets and anti-Christian rhetoric.

The school board in Meridian, Idaho, voted 2-1 this week to keep the book, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” off a supplemental reading list for 10th graders, meaning it will not be part of the curriculum at the high school, said school board clerk Trish Duncan.

From Al Smith – @literateowl


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