HCAE proposes policy changes to review of parental complaints

Haywood County Association of Educators has put forth suggested amendments to the school board policy regarding parental inspection of and objection to instructional materials.

Bestselling author of ‘Dear Martin’
 comes to Waynesville

Almost everyone wants the best for themselves, the people they love, the acquaintances they encounter and even the billions of people on this earth they will never meet.

Careless book banning is seldom a good idea

Removing the book “Dear Martin” from a 10th-grade English class at Tuscola High School likely didn’t prevent students in that class from having a deep, meaningful discussion about race in America and their own attitudes about this issue. Hopefully the teacher found some other book that inspired students to have this kind of discussion, because it’s one today’s young Americans need.

What lesson does censorship teach our children?

When I learned of the removal of the book “Dear Martin” from an English II class at Tuscola High School, my first thoughts were of my daughter’s English teachers who created opportunities for the students to read texts that made them think. They engaged in discussions about important topics and real-world issues and were asked to critically analyze different perspectives and experiences. My often-reluctant reader was motivated and inspired. High-performing schools allow for intellectual discussion and debate, and I am grateful her Tuscola teachers provided these opportunities.

Author responds to Tuscola pulling ‘Dear Martin’

After Haywood County Schools administration pulled “Dear Martin” from a 10th grade English II class , The Smoky Mountain News caught up with author Nic Stone to get her thoughts on the issue.

‘Dear Martin’ pulled from Tuscola class

Students at Tuscola High School will no longer be able to read “Dear Martin,” (Crown Publishing Group, 2017) after administration decided the book is too inappropriate to use as assigned reading. 

Dangerous material; celebrating banned books

By Boyd Allsbrook • SMN Contributor | What do To Kill A Mockingbird, Harry Potter, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and 1984 all have in common? Apart the obvious fact of their bookhood, you’d struggle to find anything thematically similar between them. But this assortment of classics, modern novels, and fantasies are all related in an important way. All have, at some point, been banned from schools or libraries. 

Finding inspiration in banned books

My mom was a librarian and my dad an English teacher so books were always stacked on the dining room table or tossed on the floor beside recliners. As a young girl, I carried a novel with me all the time. 

My very favorite book was The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I remember hiding it on the shelf at my elementary school library so no one else could check it out. I think I read it at least 10 times in a three-year span. It’s funny I didn’t ask my parents to just buy it for me, but these were the days before Amazon and there was something magical about holding it in my possession for only a short period of time. 

Finding freedom in the written word

fr bannedbooksDawn Gilchrist-Young doesn’t just read and teach books, she defends them.

As chair of the English department for Swain County High School, Gilchrist-Young is joining “Banned Books Weeks”, which is a nationwide celebration this week in honor of one of our greatest freedoms. 

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