Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The Controversy


In case you have missed it, this is exactly what some politicians have been doing. 
Read more here

When I was a kid, no one monitored what I was reading. 
Not at all. 
Should they have been? In some cases, yes. 
It is not that the books should have been taken from me. It's just that if you know what your kid is reading, you know what you need to be discussing with them.

We watched "Undeniable" Saturday night. As always, the stories break your heart, but to be perfectly honest with you, equally horrifying was hearing a group of high school students in Texas say that they had heard of the holocaust before, but could not answer the most basic of questions about it, Texas being the same state where the school board took the stance that if the Holocaust was to be taught in school, the opposing view needed to provided to the children for context.

Horrifying to think that a child might be learning that Hitler had a point...

I e-mailed our public library. If they do not have a copy of 'Maus' on hand, I've offered to buy and donate three copies. 


  1. Gosh, I heard about the squabble, but didn't know of the example. Maybe instead of worrying about whether sex education should be taught in school or at home, we should be "secretly" teaching our kids at home about the truths within history if the school won't fully teach history. Jeepers, how sad. Linda in Kansas

  2. Lessons about banning something and having it suddenly become very desirable are never learnt.

  3. I am appalled that in this day and age books are still being banned. Easier than explaining the content I guess but we all know where this will end up. Again.

  4. This morning I saw a photo of Jewish people climbing out of train trucks, they had just been rescued by the Allied troops from going to a concentration camp. The happiness on their faces told the tale.
    It seems grotesque not being able to read the history of such a terrible time and the methods used. But the use of easy symbolism has also become too easy. Only good deep education will overcome the ease in which children/adults turn to their phones for 'soundbites'.

  5. I believe that you would find that this book is NOT "easy symbolism". I also believe that it is a topic which naturally leads into further reading. I believe that you are exactly right about 'soundbites' though. I see us as all become a nation of ADD afflicted. It bothers me a great deal to see people so firmly attuned to a screen of one sort or another. The ironic fact that I am typing this as I stare fixedly at my computer screen does not escape me.

  6. I just looked up the picture I believe that you referenced. I ordered the book 'A Train Near Magdeburg'. Thanks for the clue.

  7. I was allowed to read any book I wanted to as well and I have allowed my daughters the same privilege. However I try to question my kids about what they are reading and talk about it.

  8. There's some very twisted thinking out there. Your key point is that communication is lacking.

  9. The world is going bonkers when we have more access to knowledge than ever. Both sides seem to warn to remove books for their own reasons.

  10. Red is exactly on point about communication. A dust-up over "Maus" has taken place in the county where I live. Here's the thing: if the ones who have concerns about books would be willing to discuss it in an un-emotional manner, and if those who have the authority over the books (the school administration or whoever) would be willing to listen, also un-emotionally, some compromise might be possible. Maybe the ones on either side are ridiculous and have no grounds for their objections or responses, but until we start at the point of giving the other side the benefit of the doubt, no matter how misguided we might believe them to be, we will never get anywhere.

    And here's the other thing. With regard to parents with children in public schools who have problems with the books, once they have voiced their objections and their wishes are not complied with, they have a choice to make. Send their children to school, let them read the books they find objectionable and have honest conversations with them about it. When I was in elementary school, I was taught the theory of evolution. At home my parents discussed it with me and explained how it could, in fact, be compatible with our faith or, if not, it was a theory anyway, and not a reason to choose one or the other (evolution or God). The other option for these parents is to choose to home school or send their children to private schools where they have more of a voice in what is taught or the books are used. It doesn't have to be a hill to die on.

  11. Bob, I like that very much.

    I cannot understand how it is becoming so unbalanced. Do parents have a right to control what their children read? Sure. But how many of those kids have free range of the internet.

    I remember when the Harry Potter books were the big deal. Cara was in love with the series before she even finished with the first book. I read that book and found them a classic tale of good vs. evil, albeit one set within the realm of magic. They were challenging books, not dumbed down. She was in third grade and I saw them as written above her age level. As each book came out, I read them, skimmed them really, and turn over to her. By the time she was 14 or 15, I saw no reason to continue previewing them.

    The holocaust needs to be taught. Kids need to know what happened, and understand how it happened. The idea of being required to teach 'the other side' is awful. It would be like telling a Christian school they were required to present things from Satan's point of view.

    Parents have every right to control what comes into their homes. However, individuals do not control the school. That is a public entity, and the public/majority should be deciding. not one or two opinionated people. If a parent is unhappy about the majority ruling, home schooling and private schooling are an option.

    I hold that letting children read and discussing what they read is the ticket.

  12. I think the approach that Bob's parents took is spot-on. This doesn't need to be a hard either/or situation. Kids can absorb information at school and then parents can add their two cents at home. I don't understand parents who so strongly object to information that they don't even want their children to hear it.


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