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  1. #31

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    Re: parental rights/required reading list

    me too...I had to read or have chosen to read most of the books on that list, and I did not post it to upset anyone, simply to make a statement....It always baffels,, and amuses me some of the things that are banned

    (freedom of speech, hmph) derailing myself.....

    anyway, I was not trying to annoy, just share something I found interesting....
    sorry if I offended anyone....
    procrastibating

  2. #32

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    Re: parental rights/required reading list

    Quote Originally Posted by cellarhound
    I don't believe in banning books... It is difficult enough to get a child interested in reading to begin with...
    Sometimes banning a book is the best way to get a child interested.

  3. #33

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    Re: parental rights/required reading list

    Quote Originally Posted by pixywingz
    We have been having a 'go around' at my kids school about the 'required reading list'... and we've been told that there is no longer a legal 'opt out' option. Does anyone know where I can investigate this supposed 'law'?
    I've tried googling "law about required reading list" & such but can't find what I'm looking for.
    any suggestions?
    These books are on the required reading list because educators have found that they are of significance to what your children are learning. Unless your argument is that they have no significance in the total lesson plan, why do you feel that you should have the "right" to inhibit your childrens'' learning experience. Often books aren't relevant by themselves, but are very important in understanding a bigger idea in literature, history or society's evolution.

    Quote Originally Posted by pixywingz
    my take on it when my son had to read catcher in the rye, I read it first..then took him aside & said "if I raised you right.... you will be so offended by this book" ... I did, and he was :-)
    This was a great approach to take. I think discussing the book with him was a better alternative that making it forbidden. Did you ask him what was discussed about the book in class.

    Quote Originally Posted by pixywingz
    some of these books like 'catcher' have been on this list for eons! Hasn't there been anything more redeeming since then for heaven's sake? its a dreary...disgusting book!!! AND AND AND!!!! why do they require our kids to read books with language in it that if they said these words in class they would be expelled!!!!! OHHHHHHHHH now THAT burns me up!
    The book is considered to be a classic by many, so there are those who disagree with your viewpoint. Personally I remember having to read the book but the only thing that I remember about it is that we discussed why some people were so offended by it.

    I've taught my kids that it is impossible for words to be "bad." However, they also know that politeness dictates that you understand your audience when speaking. In class would not be an appropriate place to use those words, the author uses them to set tone and character. When we went to Mickey's BBQ in WDW, the band played The Devil Went Down To Georgia. They changed the Devil from a "Son Of A Bitch" to "A Really Bad Guy." It just didn't cut it.

  4. #34

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    Re: parental rights/required reading list

    I don't think there was a "required" reading list when I went to school. There was a "suggested" reading list - but that think was way too huge to expect a child to ever complete.

    I hate banning books, but there are so many it seems absurd that you'd make everyone read the same thing. Where's the diversity of thought or opinion? My worst reading experiences have been with books forced to read in mass. Som eof these were great works of literature - but I wasn't ready for them at the time, and only came to appreciate them much much later.

  5. #35

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    Re: parental rights/required reading list

    okay guys..i just re-visited this post...& to make it very clear...i never suggested banning any books...and I don't believe in banning books. I just didn't like the idea of our school district taking away our 'opt out' rights.
    thankx for all your replies :-)

  6. #36

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    Re: parental rights/required reading list

    pixywings -

    I would recommend contacting one or more of the following sources to find out about any required reading list(s) for your school, and opt out policies. I believe you can always opt out if you deem a particular book inappropriate. There are certainly many reasons a parent might not want their child to read a particular book. Anyway, here are the aforementioned sources that you might contact.



    California State Board of Education Staff
    1430 N Street, Room 5111, Sacramento, CA 95814
    Phone: (916) 319-0827; FAX: (916) 319-0175
    Rae Belisle, Executive Director
    Karen Steentofte, Chief Counsel
    Deborah Franklin, Education Policy Consultant
    Debbie Rur, Education Policy Consultant

    Maryanna Rickner,Legal Assistant
    Cathy Akana, Executive Assistant
    Robin Jackson, Executive Secretary

    Or, you could czll the state Senator or assembly Member for your area - or a local school board trustee.
    Last edited by Ride Warrior; 12-16-2005 at 11:34 PM.

  7. #37

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    Re: parental rights/required reading list

    thanks luv.. i actually did contact those people..at your prompting if i remember correctly.. what i found out after doing some research is.. it's specifically a school district policy...and not negotiable....THAT'S what makes me nuts!

  8. #38

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    Re: parental rights/required reading list

    Quote Originally Posted by pixywingz
    thanks luv.. i actually did contact those people..at your prompting if i remember correctly.. what i found out after doing some research is.. it's specifically a school district policy...and not negotiable....THAT'S what makes me nuts!
    If this is the case, I would contact each of your school board trustees and school district superintendent to see if they will modify the policy, if not throw it out all together. If you are not satisfied with the results, perhaps you should consider contacting your state senator and assembly member to see if they might sponsor legislation that would override the "non-negotiable" district policies in question.

    I believe in local education control - but not to the extent of forcing kids to read certain books. Furthermore, parents should at least have some say as to what books are placed on required reading lists. These lists can end up being more political than educational. This is because book publishers make profitable deals with schools, and with the state education system for that matter.

  9. #39

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    Re: parental rights/required reading list

    Pixywings.. while I can understand that you, as a parent, have personal objections to a particular book/books. Please, please, please be aware of what ramifications going to the school board can have on the rest of the students whose parents DO want them to be able to have access to the material out there.

    As an example, my first year of teaching was when the original Harry Potter movie opened. (Personally, I think people should get past the whole witchcraft/wizzard thing and look at the true lessions of friendship, belief in oneself, good over evil, etc. - ok off my soapbox and back on topic)..

    This was not the school that I am currently working for, but a larger school with about 1200 students from K-6. The local movie theater offered to give the entire school free tickets to come and see the film as a Christmas Gift and to give the opportunity to a lot of kids to see a film that couldn't afford to go. The one thing was that we had to have parental permission in case some parents were offended. If those parents didn't want their kids to go see it, another film of their choice would be substituted. Ok, no problem there. But ONE parent, was absolutely outraged, pitched a major fit, threatened to sue the Theater for "exposing the children to Satan and Satan worshipers" and went to the school board to "protect our kids from the evils of witchcraft." Yes, she did have the right to complain. But, because of her coming on so strongly, the school board decided that ALL of our students could not go, as they could "not take the risk of offending someone." The theater was so taken back, and shaken that they pulled all offers also, afraid that "any film would offend."

    The result was that no one got to see anything. Students who did not have the monies to go to any movies at any time or had never been to a film, were denied the opportunity to go, and this woman continued to gloat about how she had "saved our children's souls." Made for a pretty miserable time at our school for a while.

    Point being, go and talk again with your teachers and Admin's. If you calmly and rationally explain your reasons for objection to certain materials and then ASK what you can subsitute in return so your child will still be able to access the underlying THEME (keyword here) of the lessons, 99% will be more than willing to work with you. If you go in already upset, then they will turn you off, guaranteed. If you go to the school board, you may win the battle, but it could lose the war for many many others.

    As for me, I absolutely adore books, and my house was built around my collections with plenty and plenty of shelves. I feel that "Fairenheit 451" should be a MUST read for everyone (and a lot of groups ban that book too. Interesting, a book on banning books being banned). My parents let me and encouraged me to read EVERYTHING. Some books were appauling, some were riveting, most made me stop and think.

    If you REALLY want something frightening to look at, go and look at your kids anthologies. They are so PC and "dumbed-down" that we are creating a generation of illiterates. There IS no true literature taught anymore...the public won't allow it.

    Ok, off my soapbox.. IMHO


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  10. #40

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    Re: parental rights/required reading list

    My sister just came in and read the above over my shoulder. She had an intersting comment.

    "No wonder Disney is going to all Pixar and original stories, if people actually READ the real stories of the Little Mermaid, Hunchback, and the rest of the unabridged fairy tales that Walt used for his classics, they would be up in arms about how violent and horrifying they were. It's sad that even Disney appears to be so afraid of offending someone that they won't even go back to that which made them what they were."

    Hmm...interesting isn't it.

  11. #41

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    Re: parental rights/required reading list

    Why even consider making more work for the poor overworked school districts. If someone thinks a book has merit for discussion, then a student should have to read it and get tested on it. I would expect in list of books, there would be some which I would consider having little merit, but that's the point of education, finding the good in the noise.

    Now if the majority of books my child was required to read promoted something I found offensive (like illogical behavior), I might debate the list for the good of society, but I would still expect a few offensive books to be found in any healthy and varied list.

  12. #42

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    Re: parental rights/required reading list

    Quote Originally Posted by Lore
    Now if the majority of books my child was required to read promoted something I found offensive (like illogical behavior), I might debate the list for the good of society, but I would still expect a few offensive books to be found in any healthy and varied list.
    LOL I took forever and, Lore, you summed it up perfectly in a few words. Bravo and Well Done...Well Done!

  13. #43

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    Re: parental rights/required reading list

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOtherVillainess
    I"d have to agree with you there.

    Why on earth is the DICTIONARY banned of all things?

    TOV
    Dictionaries are often on the ban list of various groups trying to defend a hard to defend point. An example of why might be found in the fringe group known as the moral majority. Morality is defined as using judgement, which requires reason. Faith is defined directly as belief without reason. The dictionary would seem to suggest that faith and morality are not directly linked, and even somewhat opposed to each other. It's easy to see why such a group would want the dictionary banned.

  14. #44

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    Re: parental rights/required reading list

    okay...once again *sigh*.. i love that all you are discussing this issue...and i love the responses... but let me clarify something...
    I am a devout Christian...practicing..not just a word to me... and i have NEVER EVER denied my kids reading anything they wanted to... as I said..if i raised them right i would hope certain things/issues would offend them & influence them to make decisions and stands on their own accord.
    what i took offense to was the fact of learning that our school district has removed the 'opt out' option. That specifically is what bothered me.
    I think it's dreadful that that parent's tirade prompted all those kids to not be able to see Harry Potter, that makes my heart sick. In fact..the parent who brought our particular problem to light wanted me to join in with her 'cause' to eliminate sexual education from our school!!! I couldn't believe what she was saying! I then reminded her that not all kids have loving understanding and informative parents to go home to & most of these kids would end up pregnant and or with diseases with the little bit of sex ed they do get now!
    so ..like i said before... i am NOT in favor of banning books! :-)

  15. #45

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    Re: parental rights/required reading list

    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

    Why? Because a guy commits suicide by flying into a cliff?

    "I want to go home, Doc."
    "You gotta be crazy to go home."
    "But I am crazy!"
    "You can't be crazy, you want to go home. If you DIDN'T want to go home, then you must be crazy!"
    "Then I don't want to go home!"
    "Then get out there."
    "Wait a minute..."

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