Book Banning and Other Shenanigans


I heard just the last piece of a news item on TV last night about someone or other wanting to ban To Kill a Mockingbird from a school library — I didn’t even catch if it was left-wing nuts or right-wing nuts, but book banners always remind me of Kurt Vonnegut’s response to these sorts of dimwits:

“Have somebody read the First Amendment to the United States Constitution out loud to you, you God damned fool!”

Granted, To Kill a Mockingbird is not a very good book, vastly overrated, but there’s no case that I can think of for banning it from a school library.

You might think I’ve painted myself into a corner here with a First Amendment argument given that another currently hot topic is schoolbooks on sexual topics.

But no, I think reasonable people can agree that some types of subject matter are not appropriate for school children. We have R-rated movies, right? No one has a problem with that.

We never had any problems with inappropriate material in the Irvine Unified School District, which my son attended, probably because the teachers and administrators knew as well as anyone that the first-rate academic results achieved by the district had little or nothing to do with them, and everything to do with the families that live in the district and their expectations of their children regarding what it means to be a student.

I attended every Open House, Back to School Night, parent-teacher conference, etc., and rarely did I feel that I was in the presence of greatness.

The teachers and administrators were as replaceable as a worn-out set of tires. And knowing that, they were never motivated to try any shenanigans . . .

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