Island Tree School District vs. Pico Benjamin Waldman Civics/4B 1/12/14

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“'Forget books,”'said Rosewater, throwing that particular book under his bed. 'The hell with 'em.' 'That sounded like an interesting one,' said Valencia.” -Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut In 1975 the “interesting” books for students of the Island Tree School District were nearly thrown under the bed forever. The Island Tree School District was presented with a complaint from the group Parents of New York United that posed a concern regarding the content of library materials. This community was concerned that public school libraries in the district were exceedingly “permissive” with the books they provided for students. The list of books that the Parents of New York United were wary of were: “Slaughter-House Five,” by Kurt Vonnegut; “The Fixer,” by Bernard Malamud; “The Naked Ape,” by Desmond Morris; “Down These Mean Streets,” by Piri Thomas; “Best Short Stories of Negro Writers,” edited by Langston Hughes; “A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich,” by Alice Childress; “Soul on Ice,” by Eldridge Cleaver; “A Reader for Writers,” edited by Jerome Archer, and “Go Ask Alice,” by an anonymous author(New York Times, 1982). The Island Tree School Board complied with the Parents of New York United's concern and took these books off school shelves in early 1976. Five students, lead by Senior Steven Pico, gathered to object the school board's ruling and filed a lawsuit that made it to the Supreme Court in 1982. They stated that the Parents of New York United's concern was based solely in a complain about the books going against the group's subjective values, and not the objective value of providing quality education to the students of the Island Tree School District. The student's objection to the school board's ruling to remove the ... ... middle of paper ... ...nd in this case I'm grateful that the Supreme Court ruled to go with freedom of speech rather than limiting the potential enlightenment students gain from these literary works. Bibliography: . N.p.. Web. 14 Jan 2014. . . N.p.. Web. 14 Jan 2014. . N.p., n. d. 14 Jan 2014. . http://www.nytimes.com/1982/06/26/us/high-court-limits-banning-of-books.html N.p., n. d. Web. 14 Jan. 2014. Slaughter-House Five- Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Richard E., Berg-Andersson. 14 Jan 2014. .

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