Banned Books Week
Over on her blog, Tech_Space, Angela Gunn is doing a phenomenal job defending intellectual freedom as she celebrates Banned Book Week. It's an important occasion that needs to be observed, as the younger generations don't seem to be doing so. CNN reported a few years ago that students lack enough civic knowledge and common sense to recognize the First Amendment for the unassailable foundation of this country that it should be: "… when told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes 'too far' in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories."
I once had a high school teacher who told us, "Tom Sawyer used to be one of the most dangerous books in the country." When a parent unthinkingly took this statement literally without recognizing what wasn't being spelled out — that the book used to be considered dangerous — he called for the teacher's resignation. If you don't know who to praise more — the teacher for including such a book in the curriculum, or the parent for his zero tolerance against censorship — I'll give you a hint: it's the one who showed more thought. That's what freedom from censorship is all about: freedom to think. And if you haven't learned that from a book, go watch Dead Poets Society or Mr. Holland's Opus. Then come back here and read Angela's rightful rants: