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October 27, 2009

Dear library patrons, please stop blacking out words that offend you in the library books

Censorship Mystery Brewing Inside Public Library - NewsChannel 5.com - Nashville, Tennessee -
"I mean, it's not every single book by this lady, or every single book by this man. It's just, randomly," said Potts. The edited books are always fiction, and more often it is mystery novels being targeted. "It's one word, in particular. It's the 'f' word," said Potts. Potts is trying to solve the mystery. She's posted a sign, but tracking the borrowers of a book is nearly impossible, thanks to a federal library law that protects privacy. There is no paper trail on who's checked-out what. For example, a book borrowed by "Jane Doe" last week gets bumped entirely when "John Doe" borrows the same book. The law is tying the hands of the library director, who said this self-made censor is binding the mouth of an author.

October 26, 2009

Why Did Scholastic Ban This Book From School Fairs? The Scary Gay Parents

Why Did Scholastic Ban This Book From School Fairs? The Scary Gay Parents / Queerty
If you attended one of America's public schools, then perhaps in elementary school you took part in one of Scholastic's book fairs — the reading company's traveling stab at getting kids to put down the PSP and pick up book of glued pages. But if you're a kid today, one book you won't find is Luv Ya Bunches. It's too gay. Also, it has the terms "crap," "sucks," and "Oh my God" in it. Is there any better a story for kids than one about four young girls with nothing in common, but who form a bond because they're all named after flowers? Lauren Myracle’s Luv Ya Bunches, released Oct. 1, is that type of feel-good tome. But because it's written for kids who are living in 2009, and not, say, 1959, one of the characters — egads! — has gay parents! That's too much for Scholastic, which told publisher Abrams/Amulet it would need to submit a copy of the book with the bad words removed, and give the character Milla a set of hetero parents.
*Thanks again to Dorian, who has become one of my main sources for civil rights news*

Librarians fired for banning kids from reading Alan Moore comic

Librarians Won't Give Child 'Porn' Book And no, it wasn't "Lost Girls," it was a volume of his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (aka his Victorian fanfic). I believe there is a panel that may show breasts or something, so the librarians decided it was porn. No word on if they also stop people from reading romance novels, Stephen King, or anything else that has a sex scene in it.
Two Nicholasville librarians are fired for not allowing a kid check out a book. The women say the book contains pornographic material inappropriate for children. The two women say they were fired last month when they wouldn't let a young girl check out a book from The League of Extraordinary Gentleman series. Now, both women say they're less concerned with their jobs and more concerned with keeping material like this out of children's hands. "Residents in Jessamine County do not realize that these books that are so graphic are available in the library let alone to their children," former Jessamine County librarian, Beth Bovaire, said. . . . The Jessamine County Library director says it's against their policy to speak about employee terminations but he did give me a copy of their policy and it clearly states the responsibilities of the child's reading must lye with the parents and not with the library.

October 12, 2009

Six-year-old suspended for 45 days for bringing camping fork to school

45-Day Sentence for 6-Year-Old Caught With Camping Utensil - Lowering the Bar Zero tolerance policies and mandatory sentences are insane and cruel.
Hardened Delaware criminal and recent Cub Scout recruit Zachary Christie faces 45 days in reform school for bringing a camping utensil to school. School officials decided that the utensil, which combines knife, fork and spoon, violated the district's "zero-tolerance" policy. Under the Christina School District's amazingly detailed 80-page Student Code of Conduct - a single code for all students from kindergarten through 12th grade - possessing any weapon results in an automatic suspension "regardless of possessor's intent." (p. 48) This applies to knives regardless of blade length, though knives with blades more than three inches long - and other "weapons" ranging from actual deadly weapons to BB guns, soft pellet guns, and "non-functional weapons" - mean immediate expulsion. . . . School officials said that under the code, they had no discretion in the matter and were required to suspend the boy. This is despite the fact that the state has a law that was intended to give school boards more discretion. That law was passed after a third-grader came to school with a cake and a knife to cut it with. The teacher cut the cake, served it, and then called the principal. The girl was expelled for a year. But that law currently only applies to cases of expulsion, so it won't help Zachary.