The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Friday, March 24, 2006

Sanity Prevails

(Note- I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning waiting for this article to post. The things I do for you guys.)

Judson ISD school board votes 5-2 to keep "The Handmaid's Tale" on its AP English curriculum:

The critically acclaimed novel "The Handmaid's Tale" was reinstated to Judson Independent School District's Advanced Placement curriculum after board members voted 5-2 Thursday in favor of the move.

"I don't see how we can ban this book," board vice president Richard LaFoille said after the board listened to nearly three hours of public testimony. "You kids want this book, I'm going to give it to you."

Superintendent Ed Lyman pulled the novel from the district's AP English curriculum after parent Cindy Pyo complained she found it sexually explicit and offensive to Christians.

Lyman made the decision to remove "The Handmaid's Tale" by Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood from the curriculum, overruling the recommendation of a committee of teachers, students and a parent.

The committee appealed Lyman's decision to the school board.

Lyman said Thursday he wouldn't want his children to read the book and didn't feel it matched the community's standards.

More than 30 people spoke at the board's meeting Thursday, including 10 teachers and a dozen students who defended the novel. Only five people spoke in favor of pulling the book.

30-5. I wonder if Mr. and Mrs. Pyo are counted in the five. At the end of the day, the school board didn't really have much of a choice.

Just read the difference in the pro and con arguments are in the article. One is well thought out and, dare I say, AP material. The other is, well, 'trash.'

Update: One thing I missed on the first go around. According to the article, this May's AP exam will include questions about the article. So the pro-banning faction was willing to let the entire AP section be a little less prepared for this important examination. For their cause.

So, looking forward, there was a very real possibility that we might have seen a student or two drop a point and make them lose AP credit because of the book banning. Which would then have made those students have to take that English class in college, costing them and their parents anywhere from several hundred to a couple of thousand dollars.

But that's ok, because it was the woman's duty and responsibility to HER COUNTRY to make sure none of these teenagers ever read that book in class.