Against Censorship in Schools with an Eye Towards Education

Against Censorship in Schools with an Eye Towards Education

My son brought home a book
It sat all innocent in its aged leather binding
the paper pages cracked slightly with age
but the gilded print on the cover damned it
Huck Finn by Mark Twain
oh! the horror – for therein
is a black man called nigger
a slave to the white man
hideous and repulsive to modern sensibility
after all, we’ve lived through the 1960s
we marched with Dr. King, or at least learned
to share a water fountain, or a bus seat
we’ve grown beyond our racist past
surely now we can teach our kids
that niggers is no longer slaves
and that certain words debase and vilify
surely now we can teach our children
tolerance and love and acceptance
and that hatred is even more disgusting
than slave owning ever was
surely through Huck Finn
a fictional boy from our past
we can educate our children –
surely

My daughter brought home a book
It sat neglected in her tattered backpack
the pages were crisp and unbent
but the dust jacket’s lettering damned it
A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
oh! the horror! for therein
are Mormons treated with suspicion
rank intolerance and ignorance
an old man refuses to allow his girl to marry
a member of his own adopted congregation
as if who we marry is matter of another’s opinion
but the Virginia school board banned it
the book teaches hatred of Mormons
we can’t have that in our schools
we can’t have children reading that – though
surely now we can teach our children
tolerance and love and acceptance
and that fictional characters with heinous opinions
need not be our own
surely through a STUDY in Scarlet
a fictional book from our past
we can educate our children –
surely