Umberto Eco Time
(suddenly it's all The Name of the Rose in here.)
From the (shoddily edited) Northwest Arkansas News for 17 July 2005:
Although in her June 22 email she said she wanted to "purge" the school libraries of sexually explicit materials, Taylor has an idea for a compromise.
Place the explicit and objectionable books in a restricted area, and parents who do not mind their children accessing these materials can sign a permission sheet allowing them to do so, "Why are educators so incensed at the fact that parents want to have authority over what their children read?" she said.
Why do parents feel the need to control every single idea that their child is exposed to? Maybe it's a good thing in a free society for kids to come across ideas that their parents haven't approved yet. Maybe that's what keeps the society going--kids who put ideas together in totally novel ways, because that one new idea is so radically different from the ideas the child has been exposed to before.
People who are afraid of ideas have not been taught to think for themselves, nor will they teach their children to think for themselves.
And as to the specifics of this case, I say to this woman: what if a child who is questioning their own sexuality--for children do have them, especially those children in school--seeks information in the library to help them understand their feelings? When a child reaches this age, they should not be required to seek only the counsel of their parents in such matters, but those of society as well, and the place many of us still do this is the library. How would it be if, on a casual Tuesday, some confused child came into the library seeking understanding, and the librarian said, "I cannot give it to you because it is evil" when it most certainly is not?
Finally, if these books are removed from the school library but not the public library, what do you think this woman's next target will be?
If I can come down from this high horse language for a minute, I think this woman has some serious issues with Toni Morrison, and though Morrison is not one of my favorite authors, her novels do address very important themes that should not be withheld from children.
*Bullshit Alert* The concept of a library has long been the target of the totaltarianist movement: who after all would support a place where ideas can be freely got and discussed but dirty commie hippie liberals, and other kinds of Euro-centric scum. You know, all this liberalism started in Europe anyway, what with them Greeks and their homosexuals.
Okay, back to reading Order of the Phoenix before Half-Blood Prince gets here from Canada in a week.