ban hate not books

The state fire marshal is investigating the burning of a sign in Abita Springs saying 'Ban Hate, not books' (left). At right is a photo of the sign after it was torched. 

Overreaction to what’s obscene, and what’s not, isn’t a new thing.

About 10 years ago, a young man who’d interrupted his college career to teach at our local high school through the Teach for America program assigned the now famous book “The Handmaid’s Tale” to students in an advanced English class.

One parent objected. Only one. And the superintendent ordered the book removed.

My son was in that class. My wife has read the book and watched the TV series. She’s satisfied it was suitable for high schoolers in an advanced class. But she wasn’t asked.

That teacher left teaching at the end of the year. My son, who had been inspired to become a teacher by him and a few others, isn’t teaching.

And it all began with one parent’s complaint.

Teachers are quitting at an alarming rate. Few young people are becoming teachers. Some teachers colleges have just a few students. A few have none at all.

Our own local school district has resorted to staging job fairs, hoping to fill the vacancies.

Parents’ opinions are important and must be considered. But banning books is just one step away from burning books. Maybe we should read them first.



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