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You are HERE >>  Miscellaneous : Educational Policy


Parent Control vs. The School Board
by Jodi Jill
May 5, 2001

With the excitement and hoopla of the Harry Potter series for young readers we once again find ourselves in the midst of controversy on who allows our children to read what. It is barely the beginning of the school year and several school principals and school boards respectively are deciding whether Harry Potter and his pals will be seen inside the school doors. Thus is the case here in Colorado as well as Michigan and California.

Situations like this never have an easy outcome. There are those who feel the school must protect the inside of the school and the lessons that they teach, at whatever cost. They remind us they are following the rules set up way before the issuance of the books and using outside guidance of the parents who now disagree with the decision. Outraged, most who disagree scream censorship when the materials are removed and an emotional battle begins.

The parents on the other hand seem to find little if nothing wrong with the books so they want them left on the school library shelves. Arguing the points that if the kids enjoy them and they promote reading, why move them? A fight develops into a battle of viewpoints.

Then the third parties, more emotionally charged than the other two parties comes along to discuss the situation. Parents, school officials and others, living outside the districts in question, begin a massive campaign to raise awareness and heighten a decision that either side might not be happy with.

The moral of the story? Harry Potter sold many more books, everybody is angry at everybody and there is an unhappy community at odds with each other. Within a community we all have choices on the books we read and the books our children read and there is no answer on who has final say. At home, as with any parental decision, what a child reads is up to you and your family. Whether it maybe a simple comic book or perhaps War and Peace (you definitely have a motivated child then) you need to see what is being read to help motivate and develop the future reader!

Submitted by: Copyright © Jodi Jill   Jodi Jill is a retired literary agent. After 12 years of promoting authors, she has turned her focus to promoting literacy in America with the Quit Whining and Read! Literacy Program.  Tell Jodi how much you agree or disagree.

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