More Missouri book challenges – “Speak,” two other books in Republic row

Banned Books Week, Censorship

On the heels of the Stockton, Missouri ban on The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, another high-profile challenge is causing controversy in that state.

Wesley Scroggins of the town of Republic had this opinion piece, complaining about “filthy books,” printed in the Springfield News-Leader:

Scroggins: Filthy books demeaning to Republic education
You can read Scoggins’ full complaint, filed with the Republic Board of Education, as well as the response from Superintendent Vern Minor.

The local news media are following the story:

Republic school book choices under fire

Parent’s Complaint Leads to Curriculum Considerations

Laurie Halse Anderson, whose Speak was singled out for criticism, responded on her blog and in an opinion piece of her own: Anderson: Description of ‘Speak’ story may mislead Republic’s citizens (Laurie also posted a link to a Vonnegut essay featuring a letter he wrote to a North Dakota high school in 1973(!) after Slaughterhouse-Five was tossed into the school furnace.)

A Twitter campaign in support of Speak is ongoing – check out #SpeakLoudly tweets.

Sarah Ocker, whose Twenty Boy Summer is also among the challenged books, also has blogged about the situation, had her own opinion piece printed, and created a video (watch below) in which she talks about the importance of Anderson’s Speak.

This episode, which OIF will continue to monitor, is a striking reminder of the importance of understanding and celebrating the freedom to read – during Banned Books Week and throughout the year!

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