Magazine article American Libraries

Christian Activists Target School Materials, Staff

Magazine article American Libraries

Christian Activists Target School Materials, Staff

Article excerpt

Christian activists target school materials, staff

Protestors have been standing outside La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, N. Mex., since late January to say the rosary and offer religious literature to students. The demonstrators represent groups opposed to recent classroom screenings of The Last Temptation of Christ and Catch-22, both held in the school library collection.

The furor began last fall when La Cueva librarian Pauline Jones lent teacher Joyce Briscoe the library's copy of the Last Temptation video for an honors history class. Both women were decried by the American Family Association and the Coalition for Family Values for their actions, although Briscoe had only shown the movie to students whose parents had given prior approval per district policy. None of the protestors' children are taught by Briscoe.

As a result, the school district began requiring teachers to obtain permission from a review committee before asking parents' permission to use R-rated films and other controversial materials in the classroom.

Charlene Money, an administrator for the Albuquerque Public Schools who works with school librarians, told AL that officials deliberately left the school system's selection policy alone.

Jan. 22, a few weeks before a $125 million levy vote on school funding, Briscoe inadvertently fanned the flames. Without committee approval, she borrowed a copy of Catch-22 for use in an honors English class. Briscoe was unaware that she needed permission, Jones told AL, because the film was circulated before Jones could affix a telltale "R" sticker. …

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