Censors in the Classroom: The Mind Benders

Censors in the Classroom: The Mind Benders

Censors in the Classroom: The Mind Benders

Censors in the Classroom: The Mind Benders

Synopsis

This concerned review demonstrates through the weight of evidences that censorship is unrestrained by geographic, economic, religious, or political boundaries- it pervades the United States.

From Maine to California books are being wrested from the hands of teachers and pupils to be edited with magic markers, mutilated by razor blades, and burned. These events are ordered by local school boards after they have been informed of the books' "questionable content" by parent groups.

Administrators of a midwestern grade school hired an artist to pencil pants on cherubs in a Maurice Sendak tale while in West Virginia police escorting school buses filled with children through parent picket lines were fired upon by snipers. Books written by individuals judged to be homosexuals are removed from libraries and schools as "it is time that, along with thieves and murderers, they be branded for the sinners they are and removed from society." Some of the writers whose work was considered objectionable by this "Save Our Children" group were John Milton, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Hans Christian Andersen.

It is not enough to portray the excesses of such movements. Only through calm, informed discussion of the issues and a keen awareness of the organization and goals of the pressure groups can their efforts be effectively countered. Jenkinson offers some suggestions for concerned teachers, librarians, and parents who would have an active voice in the decision of who will guide the minds of children. " Keep those teachers on their toes. Let them know you are there and watching ! "advises the "Plan of Action" of the Parents of Minnesota, Inc. And they do.

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