Thursday, April 29, 2010

Song Silenced

The school board of Franklin Township, Indiana, has pulled Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon from their school and out of students hands. The book had been assigned to about 50 11th grade students in advanced placement English classes. Acting quickly to protect the college-bound students from the National Book Critic's Circle Award winning novel, the youths were ordered to stop reading the text and return the book to the school where it could be locked up immediately. School board member, noted literary critic, and protector of public morals Scott Veerkamp, said that he “was about as appalled as I've ever been in my life. I wouldn't want to expose my children to that garbage.” He went on to report that he “couldn't even sleep last night when I read some of the excerpts.”

Indeed, great literature can be powerful stuff. Especially great literature that deals with adult themes and uses adult language. As we all know, most 11th graders have never thought of, been exposed to, or discussed such things before. To suddenly encounter them in the form of a book can be far too much for them to bear.

Seriously, these are students who will likely be heading off to college in a couple of years. In college they are going to be reading things that are sometimes challenging. Isn't it the job of a school to prepare kids for their future and not to keep them in an intellectually sanitized bubble?

Therefore, I now declare Franklin Township, Indiana, to be Maniacal Hooting's official Most Embarrassing Place in America ™ (outside of Arizona).


Anonymous said...

Please review the following information regarding Scott Veerkamp:

Melissa said...


FIRST of all, I am honored to have ties to both states of shame - Indiana and Arizona (referred to in some circles as Aryanzona ... I'm just sayin').

SECOND of all, I read a few of those reviews about Scott V and he sounds like a class-A tool. (This is a much more distinguished level on the tool scale than, say, a class-B tool.)