School removes books and bibles from library. Keller Independent School District, near Fort Worth, Texas, directed all teachers and librarians to remove 41 books from the school library. The school has a formal complaint process. Among the books removed are all versions of the Bible and an illustrated adaptation of Anne Frank’s diary.
The Bible had sexuality and human sacrifice in it, and the holocaust was too difficult for some students to handle. Parents, employees and district residents can formally file objections to books or instructional materials.
Women who have raised children are fully aware of the importance of the freedom to read and explore new ideas without a closed mind.
Parents, employees and district residents can formally file objections to books or instructional materials. On the school’s website, there are numerous statements concerning material. “You can ask your child’s teacher to share the books being assigned for class. If you have concerns, you can ask that your child have an alternate assignment. If you believe the book is inappropriate for all students (not just your child) you can formally challenge the book. You can give the campus librarian a list of books you do not want your child to check out. They are happy to help you!” Doesn’t say the school removes books and bibles from library.
It is understandable that a parent has concerns regarding the material their child is reading and is free to discuss any complaint through the proper school channels. The school removes books from library and that should be a separate matter.
Open Learning Takes Back Seat As School Removes Books From The Library
As the school removes books and bibles from the library, open learning takes a back seat. Open Learning refers to activities that either enhance learning opportunities within formal education systems or broadens learning opportunities beyond formal education systems.
School libraries rarely contain offensive material, but should parents and other residents of a community control what is in the library? Communities in the Western world are, mostly, multiracial and multireligious. All with entirely opposing views.
Right Or Wrong?
Who is right or wrong? Can a Muslin forbid children having access to the Bible, or should only the Koran be acceptable reading in a school in a Western country?
Here is one point of view from a parent. “Schools do not serve parents. They partner with parents to serve taxpayers through rigorous layers of selected oversight and hired experts who can be held accountable by those representatives.”
Another parent says, “Parents don’t have the right to ban a book for anyone else’s kids.” Still, a school removes books and bibles from the library.
Banning and Burning Books
Book burning is the deliberate destruction of books and other written material. It is usually done in the name of public interest. It proceeds from cultural, religious, or political opposition.
Banning or burning a book shows contempt for the book’s contents and the author. It draws public attention to a particular opinion. However, in banning a book, you instantly thrust the book into the spotlight.
Banning or burning books results in a severe loss to cultural heritage. It is a significant component of cultural genocide.
Modern Book Burning
In 1981, an organized mob of Sinhalese individuals went on a rampage and burnt the Jaffna Public Library in Sri Lanka. The library was the biggest in Asia, containing over 97,000 books and manuscripts.
In the 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthy called for the removal of books from the US overseas library program. Books he deemed too left-learning. His call was answered with books being burned in places like Australia and Japan.
The German Student Union conducted a book burning campaign from March to October 1933. They ceremoniously burned books in Nazi Germany and Austria. The books targeted for burning were those viewed as subversive, or representing ideologies opposed to Nazism. It led to the burning of tens of thousands of books. Time magazine coined the word ‘bibliocaust’.
Historical Book Destruction
History is littered with incidents of book burning, starting with the Library of Alexandria, around 2000 years ago.
The Library of Alexandria Library contained works by the greatest thinkers and writers of antiquity, including Homer, Plato, Socrates and many more. The Alexandria Library was the biggest of its kind and caught fire after Julius Caesar set the ships in the harbour alight.
In 213 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, ordered the burning of books and burying of scholars. He supposedly ordered the live burial of 460 Confucian scholars just so he could stay on his throne.
In 1244, French law officers in the streets of Paris burned twenty-four carriage loads of Talmud and Jewish manuscripts in the streets of Paris.
King Henry VIII burned all Catholic religious texts. Book burning changed from a bureaucratic to a theatrical performance.
During 1812, the British ordered the destruction of the Library of Congress. In 1973, Anthony Comstock’s New York Society for the Suppression of Vice destroyed 15 tons of books, 284,000 pounds of printing plates and nearly 4,000,000 pictures. The material was defined as ‘lewd’.
Book burning has continued to present day. In 1984, anti-apartheid groups in South Africa smashed microfiche machines. They threw books into the nearby waterway.
In 2009 there was a ritual book burning in Australia, by students of a university. Most of the books thrown on the pyre were books on Chinese medicine, kinesiology, acupuncture, homeopathy and other alternative healing material.
When al-Qaeda Islamists invaded Mali, in 2012, Abdel Kader Haidar and others “Badass Librarians’, risked their lives to protect medieval works and priceless manuscripts. They succeeded in smuggling out 350,000 manuscripts.
In 2016, the Turkish government burned 301,878 books related to the coup. A Catholic school board had a ‘flame purification’ ceremony in Ontario, burning around thirty recently banned children’s books.
Controversial books, such as the Tiananmen Massacre, were removed from libraries in Hong Kong in 2020. Three secondary schools have removed more than 400 books since June 2021.
The digital age has resulted in cataloguing of an immense collection of written works. To delete a book is a way of modern book burning.
Mothers need to check what their kids are reading. Banning a book makes it more sought after. We teach our children to be self-thinkers, but they need to do this with knowledge.
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