Are they all "banned"?
A very contrived example of a similar vein would be:
Cooking with a Microwave isn't on the reading list.
1984 isn't on the reading list because some bureaucrat didn't like how it portrayed the government.
Again, I have not read this book and know nothing of how it portrays individuals in it, except that some person didn't like this portrayal. I know nothing of the accuracy of the portrayal, the intention of the portrayal or anything like that. I am attempting to create two instances of a book "not being on the reading list" and their absence from it being due to two starkly different reasons. Any reading beyond that is a misunderstanding and a misrepresentation of what I said and attempted to say
Taking something off a reading list isn't interfering with access. ("They won't read it if it isn't on the list" doesn't change things as it applies to everything that's not on the list and you're arguing that the reason matters.)
There's nothing wrong with objecting to how a reading list is selected, but no matter what the reason, that process does not ban anything.
Yes labelling something as a "ban" has persuasive power, but that doesn't make the label accurate.
Such mis-labelling actually makes it harder to get people to react to actual wolves, so to speak.
I don't know what you're trying to say here. Is it equivalent to "the person making the decision is a bad person and the person objecting is a good person"?
If you're claiming that the reason for the decision is bad, shouldn't you argue that point with some specificity? (There are lots of reasons why a decision might be bad - surely you should mention which ones apply.)
You really should. It's a very good one. But don't ask me for anti-depressants when you finish it.
A defacto ban is "We're removing it from our reading list, removing it from our library... but we not discouraging our students from reading the book". Removing it from a reading list isn't a defacto ban, it's modernization. If the kids at a specific school don't seem to respond well to a text, PULL IT. I don't care what text, even if it's one of my own beloveds just PULL IT and put in something the children will read and will learn from.
Brave New World is a classic, beyond perhaps, but if kids today aren't learning from it then so long. For every new book that goes on the list, an old one is going to come off of it. I'd much rather see kids get something like Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett that they'll respond to. Fuck, give them Harry Potter or a goddamn Halo novel if the kids will actually read it.
That seems like a very weird understanding of education to me. The whole point of the exercise is getting children to read something they might otherwise miss. If students oppose a book's content - very good, you have a debate running, and you can clearly learn from that (e.g., Huxley's use of the term savages does not dehumanize them, quite the contrary).
Education is not about taking the easy path to something, it's about taking the hard path, and learning on the way.
I would go as far and explain those parents who are so afraid of it, that it's just a word that means something for the "civilized" characters of the book that's very different than it means to us or them.
And that "civilized" is also just a word.
Meaning is in the brain of the reader. A book is only dehydrated knowledge. You have to add a brain to it.
> it seems a Native American student who was required to read the book took issue with the its depiction of native people. The girl's mom, Sarah Sense-Wilson, agreed...
The child misunderstood the terminology being used and the parent likely didn't read the book to comprehend the difference. However, on face value we have no way of understanding the full situation. Is this a school with a high-percentage of native students where the terminology, time and time again will be misunderstood?
Just because this is the first student to complain and the first parent to be a decent enough (if misguided) parent to actually follow through with their child's complaint, doesn't mean this isn't the first child to be turned off in this school from the terminology.
Change 'Savage' to Nigger and you'll offend black students in other areas, perhaps Chink and you'll offend Asian students. It just happens that this book has bad terminology for the students that were reading it that is preventing at least this student from getting to the meaning behind the words.
Furthermore, this could all have been avoided by competent teachers. Perhaps introducing the book before requiring students to read it would have avoided this. We're dealing with 80 year old books with 80 year old social mores and terms. You're going to get problems sooner or later somewhere or other. It's inevitable, get over it assign a different book with the same message.
It's notable that the US is one of the few countries where private schools have a huge lead on public schools. I remember when I was in highschool in the UK that it actually came out that (on average) private school students graduated a grade-average lower than public school students. It's good if you're in a slum area, but if you're in a slum area you don't have the money to pay for private school to begin with.
Because the intent is the same, it should be treated and vilified as a ban.