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Intellectual Freedom News

We better just burn this book

31 March 1989


In this opinion piece, Jeb Bladine challenges a group of parents who are simply known as “Parents of McMinnville Honor Students”. This group of parents sent anonymous letters to the school challenging the use of the book and film “Native Son” in the school curriculum. Bladine says that first the parents misrepresented the content in the story and that students had the option of doing other work during that time. Secondly the book has been in the curriculum since 1975 and has been widely accepted in the educational community. Third they made false charges against the teacher with the suggestion that she would threaten student scholarships if the students spoke up against the assignment. Bladine writes that there is a procedure that lets anyone challenge materials but instead of speaking face to face with the school, these parents when under the disguise of being anonymous. He ends the article by saying that these honors students deserve a better lesson than what is being taught by these anonymous letters.


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