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Attitudes of some suggest censorship

September 30, 2011

I am dismayed to learn during National Banned Books Week (which celebrates the freedom to read) that some members of our school board and Secondary Education Council, as well as some parents, are challenging a Glendale High School English teacher’s request to have “In Cold Blood’ available for her 11th-grade Advanced Placement English class.

I thought our community was more advanced than this behavior demonstrates (“A 'Cold Blood' teaching moment,” Sept. 28). Young adult author Judy Blume, as quoted in a Sept. 27 L.A. Times Op-Ed piece “Banned in Bakersfield” by Sonya Sones, illuminates what is really going on here: “I believe that censorship grows out of fear … often disguised as moral outrage.”

I hope these individuals will rethink their first reactions and realize that open communication trumps censorship in a free and democratic society, and that this applies to children, as well as adults.

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Discussing the questions posed by children and teens is the way to deal with difficult topics, not censorship.

Martha Sensel

Glendale

 
 

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