This post should come with a huge duh.
“The principal of a Pensacola, FL-based high school has cancelled its One School/One Book summer reading program citing concerns that the approved reading assignment promoted hacker culture.
“Students were going to read Cory Doctorow’s bestselling YA novel Little Brother, but the school pulled the book after receiving complaints from parents. Doctorow blogged about the issue on BoingBoing:
In an email conversation with Ms Griffith, the principal cited reviews that emphasized the book’s positive view of questioning authority, lauding “hacker culture”, and discussing sex and sexuality in passing. He mentioned that a parent had complained about profanity (there’s no profanity in the book, though there’s a reference to a swear word). In short, he made it clear that the book was being challenged because of its politics and its content.”
Doctorow and his publisher Tor Books are now donating 200 copies of Little Brother directly to the students.
I guess I need to say it, because the high school seems to have missed this point: An ideal way to undermine respect for authority is to try to prevent kids from reading books that encourage them to think for themselves.
Think about it: the school canceled its entire summer reading program rather than let its students open the cover of this book.
Give me an I. Give me an R. Give me an O. N. Y.
(The Husband comments: Bet they didn’t cancel cheerleading camp or football practice.)
Cory Doctorow’s video message above, to the kids at the high school, is thoughtful and worth watching.