Learning About Censorship Has Its Dangers

Here is another example of censorship in almost the opposite way as my previous post.  Merely teaching about censorship has its dangers!

West Linn teacher’s censorship lesson spurs outcry, apology

By Nicole Dungca, The Oregonian

December 08, 2009, 7:36PM

School officials agreed Tuesday that a West Linn teacher crossed a line when he used sexual vulgarity as part of a classroom lesson on censorship.

Michael Diltz, an Athey Creek Middle School teacher and librarian, wrote two profane words on the board in front of eighth-graders last week as a part of a districtwide “Banned/Challenged Book” project that explores the limits of free speech. Diltz was using the words to illustrate how language can often lead to the banning of books, said Assistant Superintendent Thayne Balzer.

… On Monday, parents objected at a school board meeting. School board members said they supported the banned-book program but not Diltz’s use of the objectionable words. Superintendent Roger Woehl agreed. “We still don’t think it was good judgment to use the language,” he said.

… “It was meant to provoke student understanding and experience how words, taken out of context, can lose their significance. When taken out of context, an author’s words can move a community to ban that author’s book from a school library,” Egan wrote.

Read more…


About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on December 10, 2009, in Censorship and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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