Tag Archives: banned books

To Ban or Not to Ban: Kindle in the Classroom?

A student took her Kindle to school one day, only to have it taken away as an unapproved device.  The above student was doing nothing more than reading before class–the activity for which the e-reader was made.

In the same school, some students carry–and play with–ipads.  They browse the internet on Kindle Fires or watch movies on ipods.

When did reading become a crime?  When did books become unapproved devices?

On one level, I get the argument: it is an electronic device.  However, the original e-ink readers are nothing more than literary etch-a-sketches.  Nobody is watching movies on them or texting on them.  They are reading.  Because, really, that is the sole purpose of a designated e-reader.  It’s the only thing it does well.

By taking away a portable library, I think schools are undermining a great and educational hobby.  They are forcing kids to choose between carrying thick books or no books at all.  They take away the privacy of shy readers who may not want to be ridiculed for reading certain books (the jock who reads Twilight or the struggling readers whose thin books and juvenilish titles easily peg them as “dumb”).  Will these readers simply quit reading if their only other choice is being the butt of a joke?

What says you?  Do you feel that designated e-readers should be banned from the classroom?  Why or why not?  Which factors should be used to determine if individual devices are a hindrance or a benefit? 

Teachers, in particular, please pipe up.  I’d love to have your experienced wisdom in helping me determine where I stand on the issue.

Curious minds really, really want to know.

The Secret Agenda of Banned Books? Pshaw!

Okay, so I had a warm and fuzzy post in mind to honor Banned Books Week.  I truly did.  And then I ran across a post that made me spitting mad.

The question addressed: is banned books week really a contrived affair for gays to promote themselves?

Yeah, some people really believe that.

And that’s fine.  I’m all about people getting to have and keep their own opinions.  It’s one of the things that makes America great.  HOWEVER, I do have an issue with people bashing others in the name of “what’s best for the children.”

Folks, I have four kids.  I read what my kids read.  I talk to my kids about life and the very difficult issues that life throws their way.  I know who drinks in my kids’ high school, who smokes and who’s having sex.  I know which kids bully, which ones cut and which ones struggle with family issues.  I know life stinks for many reasons and growing up is dang hard.

Knowing this does not give me the right to parent other people’s kids any more than other parents have the right to raise mine.  Nor does it give me the right to blame writers and musicians for my failings as a parent.  I can’t blame the neighbor, the neighbor’s dog, the swimming instructor or the mayor.  I am a parent.  My kids are my responsibility.  If I don’t want them reading smut, it’s my job not to let them read it.  If I don’t want them to play on the railroad tracks, it’s my job not to let them.

I can’t demand that the train company remove the tracks from my town because my kid might get hurt.  Nor can I call them Baby Killers Out to Harm Unsupervised Children Having Innocent Fun Playing on Train Tracks.

Parents, lean in closely.  You are in charge of your own kids.

Aaaand, back to the topic at hand.  I want you to read the post I linked to in its entirety.  But if you don’t, I’ll paste my favorite quote for you to ponder.

(Linda) Harvey (of MissionAmerica.org) said the ALA “has become a megaphone for leftist values and a  disinformation tool to prevent traditional values from getting much shelf space  in libraries.”

I have  never told Ms. Harvey how to raise her children, what they should read, how they should dress or any other type of parenting skills that come with the pleasure of having children.  I honestly don’t even know if Ms. Harvey has kids, and in truth, it’s irrelevant.

What matters is that I am a very religious mother who teaches my kids a certain set of “traditional” morals and values.  And yet, I do not ban, challenge or in any way, censor how other parents raise their progeny.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: if you don’t want to read it, don’t. If you don’t want your kids to read it, don’t let them.

In the same vein, if you don’t want something to go viral, shut up about it.

If people would quit challenging books, there would be no list.  Period.   And that alone would take care of the Gay Conspiracy to Ban Books with the Sole Purpose of Luring Children to the Dark Side.

Seriously?  I have better things to do with my time…like raise my own happy, healthy and well-adjusted kids.  A daunting task in its own right.  I certainly don’t have enough time left over to raise everyone else’s.

So, dear readers, do you think Banned Books Week promotes the evils of the world?  Do you believe that validating a child’s experience (ie reading a book with a protagonist kids can relate to) encourages poor choices?

Curious minds want to know.

Read more: Is library association’s ‘Banned Book Week’ really ‘gay’ promotion?