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Public School Board Bans Classic Literature Including Catch-22 and The Great Gatsby From Curriculum

Local bookstore Fireside Books has reportedly been overwhelmed with orders for the books now that they are banned.

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A public school district in Alaska has banned five books, including The Great Gatsby, from their curriculum.

The school board in Anchorage voted 5-2 on Wednesday to remove “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison; “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller; “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien; “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou; and “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

District spokeswoman Jillian Morrissey told the Weyburn Review that teachers are no longer permitted to use the books in high school classrooms. All five books were previously used in the high schools, some of them being required reading.

The reason for the ridiculous ban on the classic literature is that they may be considered “controversial.”

Board member Jeff Taylor, who voted in favor of the ban, said that there are topics such as rape and incest in the books, “things that are pretty serious problems, especially in our teenage world.”

Apparently, Taylor believes that if things that are already a problem for the age group these books are typically assigned to, they will go away if they are not discussed.

“One of the purposes in teaching books that have controversial content is so that teachers can guide students through the book to get to the underlying ideas,” former educator Pat Chesbro told the newspaper, asserting that they disagree with the ban.

The Matanuska-Susitna Education Association has issued a statement condemning the ban.

“This is a blatant effort to curtail critical thinking, stifle discussion, and deprive our students of the opportunity to share, as a class, the experience of studying some of the most classic American literature,” association President Dianne K. Shibe said.

Local bookstore Fireside Books has reportedly been overwhelmed with orders for the books now that they are banned.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Abram Aguilar

    April 29, 2020 at 3:24 am

    A sad day indeed.

  2. zicapslal

    April 29, 2020 at 7:31 pm

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Education

High School Football Players Suspended for Carrying Thin Blue, Thin Red Line Flags Before 9/11 Game

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High School football players in Florida have been suspended from their team for carrying Thin Blue Line and Thin Red Line flags during their football game on 9/11 to honor the first responders who died during the attack on the World Trade Center.

One of the young men on the Little Miami High School football team is the son of a police officer, another, the son of a firefighter.

“Were you trying to make some kind of a political statement here?” a Local 12 reporter asked Brady Williams, a senior cornerback, who carried the Thin Blue Line flag.

“No,” he answered quickly. “Not at all. I was just doing it to honor the people that lost their lives 19 years ago.”

Jarad Bentley, whose father is a firefighter, carried the Thin Red Line flag.

“I was all for it,” he said. “Because my dad is a firefighter, and if it had been him killed on 9/11, I would have wanted someone to do it for him.”

The young men had asked the school for permission to carry the flags on to the field before the game, and the school refused. They were told that if they did, there would be consequences.

Still, the boys did it anyways.

“Listen,” Williams said. “I don’t care what my consequences are. So long as my message gets across, I’ll be happy.”

Local 12 reports that “Williams and Bentley heard from the athletic director Monday afternoon and received an indefinite suspension.” The station said that they had called the superintendent about the boys a few hours prior.

Superintendent Gregory Power claimed that they denied the boys’ request because they don’t want to “set a precedent” for “political” flags being carried out on the field.

“We did not want to place ourselves in a circumstance where another family might want a different flag to come out of the tunnel, one that may be [one that] many other families may not agree with from a political perspective,” Power claimed.

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Education

Poll Finds 40% of Families More Likely to Homeschool or Virtual School After Lockdowns

“Homeschooling is the new status quo.”

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A new national poll has revealed that 40 percent of families are more likely to continue home or virtual schooling after the lock downs end.

The RealClear Opinion Research survey also found that 64 percent of registered voters support school choice.

Homeschool has been under attack in a big way since the lock downs began, but mainstream media’s efforts to dismiss it is clearly not resonating with voters.

“Every single family with kids in school has been incredibly disrupted by the lockdowns. With 55 million students no longer in their normal educational setting, families are clearly considering new options and many are seeing the benefits of homeschooling and virtual schooling. Policymakers should note that there is a strong desire to have these and other educational options available to families, with both strong support for the general concept of school choice and even stronger support for a specific federal proposal, Education Freedom Scholarships,” John Schilling, President of the American Federation of Children, said in response to the poll results.

Schilling added that this is the time for leadership and for desperately needed bold reforms to be implemented across our K-12 education system.

“Millions of families are seeing the inadequacies of school districts that are too inflexible,” Schilling said. “We owe it to our nation’s families and students to give them more flexibility and additional educational options. Moreover, policymakers owe it to the taxpayers who are footing the $800 billion K-12 education bill to maximize their investment by ensuring every child has access to a quality education and outcomes are improved across the board.”

More black and Asian parents said that they are more likely to consider homeschooling now, with 50.4 percent of black voters saying so, and 53.8 percent of Asian parents. Just 36.3 percent of white parents said the same, and 38.2 percent of Hispanic.

The issue did not seem to be partisan, however, as 45.7 percent of Democrats said they are more likely to consider homeschool, as well as 42.3 percent of Republicans.

Corey A. DeAngelis, the director of school choice at the Reason Foundation told the District Herald that these shutdowns have helped parents to realize that homeschool works better than government schooling.

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Education

Arkansas Middle School Teacher Arrested for Rape, Sexually Grooming Child

He is currently being held at Mississippi County Jail without bond.

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An Arkansas public school teacher has been arrested on suspicion of rape, sexually grooming a child, and internet stalking a child.

Blytheville Middle School teacher Gregory Briggs, 29, was arrested on Thursday according to a statement from the town’s Police Chief Ross Thompson.

The investigation into Briggs began when the parents of a 13-year-old student contacted police about inappropriate sexual conduct from the teacher.

“They reported that they had been contacted by the parent of a 13-year-old student who had evidence of inappropriate contact of a sexual nature between their child and 29-year-old Gregory Briggs, a teacher with the Blytheville Public Schools,” Thompson said in a press release.

As law enforcement investigated the case, they uncovered evidence of additional crimes against other students.

The Blytheville Police received assistance from the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children division and school officials during the investigation.

Briggs is currently being held at Mississippi County Jail without bond.

A Missouri public school teacher was also arrested this week and charged with sexual exploitation of a minor.

According to investigators, Cassville School District teacher Brandon McCullough used the messaging app Kik to contact a minor in New Jersey under a fake name. The investigation found that in May of last year he engaged with a sexually explicit chat with the child, including sending pornographic images. The victim told law enforcement that she felt trapped as the teacher kept requesting more explicit photographs and threatening to post the ones she had sent if she did not comply.

A Florida school teacher was also arrested and charged this week for filming students changing on multiple occasions.

Thomas John Kovack, 41, admitted to detectives that he filmed multiple students changing in the bathroom during the pool party while he was a teacher at J.W. Mitchell High School. He also supplied them with alcohol.

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