Saturday, September 25, 2010
Kay McSpadden: "Banned books limit freedom"
Link to September 25 guest column in the Charlotte Observer.
Excerpt: Involved parents help their children make informed choices by reading with them, talking about the books and using literature as a jumping off point for serious discussions about relevant issues.
Involved parents know that literature that deals with the issues children face helps develop empathy - and that censoring their choices takes away opportunities to learn the critical thinking skills they need for the rest of their lives.
They show that famed Missouri skepticism - isn't it the Show Me State? - and question the motives of people urging them to make decisions based on fearmongering and mischaracterizations.
And the school boards would do well to follow this mission statement: "Every effort will be made to provide materials that present all points of view concerning international, national and local problems and issues of our times. Books, or other instructional and media materials of sound factual authority, shall not be prescribed, nor removed from library shelves or classrooms on the basis of partisan or doctrinal approval or disapproval."