Case vs Unified School District 233
A federal court case involving the removal of a book
School District/Library violating the 1st Amendment
What does this mean for media specialist, our school districts and libraries?
James LaRue says it best, "the "censorship crisis" is clearly on the upswing". As librarians, we will get approached with questions as to why a book is on our shelves or why it hasn't been removed from our shelves. We need to be prepared for these questions and more importantly, try to keep our personal beliefs and opinions out of our collection and selection decisions. Ultimately, the materials on the shelves of our school libraries should reflect our curriculum, our student body and teacher request. If a book is requested to be removed, we need to follow any standards our district has set forth to remove or ban. Keep in mind that not all books are going to be positive or pleasant. Conflicts are going to arise in all books. LaRue recommends simply looking at the classics, "Take Romeo and Juliet, a sordid tale of teenage sex, drug abuse, and suicide..". LaRue gives a thought for us to ponder, "When someone complains about a title that offends religious sensibilities, I remind him or her that this year, someone challenged the Bible on the basis that it was violent and contained references to and many actual descriptions of rape, incest, and homosexuality, to name just a few of its more explicit and offensive passages. Should we toss out the Bible, too?" Despite our personal views, values and opinions, it is always best to stick to your districts standards and strive to have a collection that reflects your school's student body and teachers.