Battle over books breaks out in Westh...

Battle over books breaks out in Westhampton Beach

There are 63 comments on the Newsday story from Nov 23, 2007, titled Battle over books breaks out in Westhampton Beach. In it, Newsday reports that:

A tiny Westhampton Beach bookstore has become the frontline in a battle over the written word.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Newsday.

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Teddy Salad

Coram, NY

#1 Nov 23, 2007
"The 300-plus book list includes titles that tackle such issues as date rape, self-mutilation, virgin birth, parent arrest, lesbians, drugs, and occult murder, according to the district's synopsis of each title." Also one of the school recommended book contains a scene of a girl being gang raped by a series of men. No wonder parents of thirteen and fourteen year old children are fighting to have such books removed from the recommended reading list-not kept from the library shelves. If these stories were made into movies they would be rated "R" or at best PG-13. Young teenagers would not be permitted to view such pornography without "parental guidance" Yet liberal elites use tax payer funded schools to compel young minds to be exposed to such "adult" issues, via novels, over the objection of parents.
cragrat

Andes, NY

#2 Nov 23, 2007
No matter what you do some one complains. What is censorship to one person is plain commonsense child rearing to someone else.

Parents who take the time and interest to raise their children in what they feel is a wholesome manner should not be vilified or put down.

What would the community reaction be if as part of a history or sociology course a book on a reading list was one that cast a not entirely unfavourable light on the Klu Klux Clan. Would there be cries of censorship.

I Doubt it
Teddy Salad

Coram, NY

#3 Nov 23, 2007
The 300-plus book list includes titles that tackle such issues as date rape, self-mutilation, virgin birth, parent arrest, lesbians, drugs, and occult murder, according to the district's synopsis of each title. One of the novels depicts a young girl raped by many men. If made into movies, these stories would receive an "R" or, at best, a "PG-13" rating. Young children-thirteen and fourteen year old high school freshman-would be prohibited from seeing the films without "parental guidance." Yet liberal elites use tax payer funded schools to force, over the objection of parents, children from being exposed to books containing such "adult" themes. Welcome to the "nanny state" where it takes a bureaucracy to raise your kids and parents are not welcome.
WALLY

Valley Stream, NY

#4 Nov 23, 2007
dear mrs joyce you are worried about these 2 books good for u , i guess you do not allow your child to watch mtv or the rap progams on cable,if you do let them read the books there cleaner.
How did it get there

AOL

#7 Nov 23, 2007
Manhasset High School recently dealt with this issue, over a different book, but some of the content was rather explicit and downright disgusting.
The issue is not why is the book being banned; rather, why was the book placed on the required reading list in the first place, WHO chose to put it there, and does anybody on staff, or even some parents, get solicited for comment on choices like this? A generation or two ago, the issue would have been over books like "A Raisin in the Sun," or Black Like Me, or any number of other touchy subjects (not to exclude sex, of course...).
Dr Gregg in Denver

Conrad, MT

#8 Nov 23, 2007
This is just unreal. How uptight and stupid people can be. Sex is a part of life, these kids are in high school and are becoming sexual themselves. You can't shield your kid forever. This is partly why some kids get all screwed up, t he are sheltered their whole life and once they hit adulthood they are overwhelmed by reality
x-NY-er

AOL

#10 Nov 23, 2007
So, Wally from Upton can't spell, and Mike from W. Babylon rants and raves and calls peple who have a different opinion an idiot in the usual liberal manner. 'Nuff said.... Stay true all you people who are trying to raise their kids THEIR way and the right way.
Mike Savage

Highland, NY

#11 Nov 23, 2007
It's a liberal plot to force me off the air.
Censorship v parenting

Edison, NJ

#12 Nov 23, 2007
Do you let your kids watch hardcore pornography? Do you let them watch snuff films? Well, I don't know about the jackass liberals in Westhampton, but most American parents DO NOT let their children view content they deem inappropriate. A parents job is to CENSOR the inappropriate influences affecting their children. With all the great literature available there is absolutely no reason for high school faculty to expose children to material that the parents do not consider appropriate, These teachers should wake up and realize they are doing a poor job SERVING the families in their community if they can't grasp what is appropriate for these children to read. They are in fact public (civil) servants. They must respect the views of the people they serve.

“say what you mean...”

Since: Nov 07

and mean what you say.

#13 Nov 23, 2007
these books are not required reading. the article says they are on the "self-select reading list." that means that if you really are an involved parent, you have the opportunity to make sure that your child does not choose books that you find objectionable. however, that doesn't mean that you have the right to stop my child from having the opportunity to choose those same books. they should home school their kids if they don't want them exposed to current real-life issues.
gng

Bridgewater, NJ

#14 Nov 23, 2007
What (or who) is going to stop someone from reading ANY book whether it's on a list or not? This whole issue is absurd.
BILL

United States

#15 Nov 23, 2007
I LOVE THIS PEOPLE ARE AT EACH OTHERS THROATS OVER SOME BOOKS TO BROADEN YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND COMMON SENSE,IF IT WERE UP TO YOU THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY THE US OF A WOULD ALSO BE CENSORED,BUT YET IT'S OK TO WATCH MOVIES LIKE SAW AND HOSTEL,LETS KEEP IT REAL THEN YOU ALLOW YOUR KIDS TO DRINK AS LONG AS IT'S IN YOUR OWN HOME BUT READING THESE BOOKS ARE OFF LIMITS,SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE THEN YOU WONDER WERE YOU WENT WRONG WHEN SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAPPENS
RJJ

New York, NY

#16 Nov 23, 2007
It's frightening when some deem it appropriate if not commendable for public schools to encourage 13 year olds to read books concerning "occult murders" "date rape" and young girls being sexually assaulted by numerous adult males. Statements from some commentators that these stories are"broadening your knowledge and common sense," "sex is a part of life" etc. may explain why deviancy, illegitimacy,and violent crime against women have grown common place in the last fifty years. Censorship is not the issue as no adult or child is being prevented from reading the books they choose. The concern is why the public education system, with a wealth of literature to promote, would instead advocate children read age inappropriate trash.
Dingo

AOL

#17 Nov 23, 2007
Reading is fundamental reality. I'm quite sure that WHB freshman list is very progressive and classic at the same time. I applaud them for treating a 9th grader like a young adult.
Jim

Bronx, NY

#18 Nov 23, 2007
Censorship v parenting wrote:
Do you let your kids watch hardcore pornography? Do you let them watch snuff films? Well, I don't know about the jackass liberals in Westhampton, but most American parents DO NOT let their children view content they deem inappropriate. A parents job is to CENSOR the inappropriate influences affecting their children. With all the great literature available there is absolutely no reason for high school faculty to expose children to material that the parents do not consider appropriate, These teachers should wake up and realize they are doing a poor job SERVING the families in their community if they can't grasp what is appropriate for these children to read. They are in fact public (civil) servants. They must respect the views of the people they serve.
We said! It is a PARENT'S job to censor! NOT the community!

Taking books off the rack is wrong! But a PARENT must protect his / her kid!

A "v" chip or other guides are tools of parenting. Sh1tting on the 1st Amendment is NOT!
Dr Gregg in Denver

Conrad, MT

#19 Nov 23, 2007
mommaroo wrote:
these books are not required reading. the article says they are on the "self-select reading list." that means that if you really are an involved parent, you have the opportunity to make sure that your child does not choose books that you find objectionable. however, that doesn't mean that you have the right to stop my child from having the opportunity to choose those same books. they should home school their kids if they don't want them exposed to current real-life issues.
Exactly, nice to see someone with some reasoning on here for once.

And people why many people don't want to go into teaching anymore and schools have all these dumb rules and regulations. Many parents are nothing but a bunch of whiners that have nothing better to do then bitcha nd complain about everything they can think of and expect the schools to cater to them only, even though there are plenty of other kids. And schools for fear of losing their jobs or school board position cater to them. Stop catering to the vocal minority, they dont' speak for the majority, who have a life and don't bother with such petty nonsense
Dr Gregg in Denver

Conrad, MT

#20 Nov 23, 2007
RJJ wrote:
It's frightening when some deem it appropriate if not commendable for public schools to encourage 13 year olds to read books concerning "occult murders" "date rape" and young girls being sexually assaulted by numerous adult males. Statements from some commentators that these stories are"broadening your knowledge and common sense," "sex is a part of life" etc. may explain why deviancy, illegitimacy,and violent crime against women have grown common place in the last fifty years. Censorship is not the issue as no adult or child is being prevented from reading the books they choose. The concern is why the public education system, with a wealth of literature to promote, would instead advocate children read age inappropriate trash.
This is 9th grade, they are older than 13. THey will hear about those things in school from all the other kids. We aren't talking elementary or junior high, but high school here. THese kids are old enough to READ about real life issues (a lot different then seeing porn as some have equated it to). Oh yeah, and did you forget that some of those books are on a list of books they can pick from. THey are not forced to read them.

What are high school kids supposed to read, children's books? A lot of books that will help them learn new words and stuff have adult stuff in them.
Well

Bronx, NY

#21 Nov 23, 2007
How about putting some books on that list that deal with getting a job and becoming a productive member of society?

These kids are minors, their (not "there") parents have every right to be informed about what these books contain and be part of the selection process. The problem is, most parents don't want to know and can't be bothered, so they would rather remove the books than have to have a discussion with their kids about what is age appropriate for them.
RJJ

New York, NY

#22 Nov 23, 2007
Dr Gregg in Denver wrote:
<quoted text>
This is 9th grade, they are older than 13. THey will hear about those things in school from all the other kids. We aren't talking elementary or junior high, but high school here. THese kids are old enough to READ about real life issues (a lot different then seeing porn as some have equated it to). Oh yeah, and did you forget that some of those books are on a list of books they can pick from. THey are not forced to read them.
What are high school kids supposed to read, children's books? A lot of books that will help them learn new words and stuff have adult stuff in them.
Whether or not highschool freshman in Choteau Montana, population less than 2000,a are discussing satanic murders, gang rape of children or bestiality is really besides the point "Doctor." Nor is the ability of the typical freshman in Montana (who is what 21?) to "learn new words and stuff" from books the issue raised in the news article.The crux of the matter is the imprimatur of the New York State public education system-a tax funded institution- recommending high school freshman read smut. You are right such "adult stuff" is already available in movies, television, the internet etc. You are correct too that no one is banning the books or compelling the students to read them-a point made not only in the article but by other commentators here.But why-good "Doctor"-with so much cultural trash freely available should our schools peddle it in the classroom? Is there really a need for high school freshman in Choteau Montana or Westhampton Beach New York to be exposed to or learn, under the auspices of the public education system, what it is to engage in or be the victim of occult murders and gang rapes of kids? Wouldn't our limited public education resources be better spent educating our children sufficiently to compete in a global economy and perhaps giving them an inkling of human compassion and morality contained in the great works of literature than being just another avenue for intellectual garbage?
Mike

Bronx, NY

#23 Nov 23, 2007
x-NY-er wrote:
So, Wally from Upton can't spell, and Mike from W. Babylon rants and raves and calls peple who have a different opinion an idiot in the usual liberal manner.'Nuff said.... Stay true all you people who are trying to raise their kids THEIR way and the right way.
Well to be quite honest, without ranting now, there is no need to "ban" books....at least open minded people (non-consevatives) would have a choice. Key word buddy. But to generalize people like you as idiots is not so off the mark. If you don't want you child reading the book, simply make a request to the school to have your child not read that book. That should be enough for a reasonable person....unless of course thay speak directly to God like many of your right wing, like minded types.

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