Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Crutcher banned from making speech in Alabama

Thanks to Kelly Milner Halls for this information.

September 20, 2005

[Athens, Alabama] One week before banned author Chris Crutcher was scheduled to speak to students at Limestone County's Clements Junior & Senior High Schools, board members once again chose to censor his work -- this time a G-rated assembly about what it means to be a writer.

Media specialists Amy Mosely and Kelly Kelsoe who scheduled the event were quick to defend principal Donald Wilson who supported their desire to bring opportunity to the Clements student body, only after being offered assurances that Crutcher's school discussions contained no harsh language.

Though he could not be reached for comment, one anonymous source suggested the elected board members who banned WHALE TALK in March of 2005 insisted appointed Superintendent Dr. Barry Carroll pull the plug on Crutcher's appearance, effectively censoring what students read AND hear, regardless of content or context.

Dr. Carroll joined an appointed review committee in recommending WHALE TALK remain in Limestone County school libraries after it was challenged in the last school year. Four out of seven board members disagreed and ordered the book pulled.

Crutcher was not surprised. "When you think you can keep kids safe by keeping them ignorant," he said, "you'll go to almost any extremes. This isn't about Whale Talk; it's about any book that has the potential to offend someone, which is any book. I wish some of these school board members knew more about child and adolescent development, or had the information most teachers and school librarians are required to have before they are allowed a voice in education. I mean, kids who might die in Iraq in a few short years are being 'protected' from the language that has the power only to offend someone's sensibilities?"


Blogger Thomas Nephew said...

Thanks for bringing this to our attention! I've been meaning to join you in opposing this sort of thing; here's a trackback from something I posted today.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Iris said...

Thanks Thomas, with my crazy school and work schedules I just haven't had time to do more research, but I'm happy you find it interesting!

1:20 PM  

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