Censoring Patricia Polacco's Book

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by KinderCowgirl, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 16, 2012

    Apparently this book came out in 2009-I hadn't heard of it. It's called In Our Mothers' House about a family with 2 moms http://www.amazon.com/Our-Mothers-House-Patricia-Polacco/dp/039925076X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339841007&sr=1-1&keywords=patricia+polacco+mothers.

    This happened a few months ago but I guess is just making the news now. In a district in Utah they are now keeping it behind the counter and children can only check it out with a permission slip after a Kinder student checked it out and took it home, upsetting the parents.

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54270399-78/book-families-district-books.html.csp

    I think this is sad on many levels but particularly because they said they have a student who attends there with 2 moms-that's why they purchased the book to begin with.
     
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  3. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

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    Jun 16, 2012

    I think it sounds like a great book, especially since so many students can relate to it.

    However, what is up with the cover? They totally bought into the stereotypical "butch" image of lesbians. None of the lesbians I know look like that.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 16, 2012

    Patricia Pollacco usually draws from live models and bases her stories on real life events. Perhaps the illustrations are based on an actual couple whose story PP wrote.
     
  5. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    Jun 17, 2012

    I live in utah, we don't have the book in our library. But our media people just think it's crazy. Especially when you consider who wrote it.
    But we have had other parents complain about some books in our library. apparently in my district there is a whole process that the complaint has to go through. That district that banned Patricia's book isn't mine!!!
     
  6. MikeTeachesMath

    MikeTeachesMath Devotee

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    Jun 17, 2012

  7. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Jun 17, 2012

    I agree with the book, but not the boy's speech. Our kids read their library books immediately. As a mother this is a book I would want to read and discuss with my child. Just my two cents...even though I am sure some of you will tear me apart.
     
  8. stampin'teacher

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    Jun 17, 2012

    If the school was worried about the boys speech, they could have alerted parents before hand and whomever didn't want their child at that assembly could have kept them home. Why punish a kid by not allowing him to give is speech that he clearly worked hard on?

    With the Library, I wonder if they also require a permission slip to check out Hunger Games, which has blatantly violent scenes, and has a political point of view that could also be argued to be "difficult for students to understand." somehow I doubt it...
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jun 17, 2012

    I'm going to have to look to see if we have this book in our library--I'm sure we do (I hope we do). I don't think we have any students with same-sex parents, but we do have two teachers who have children with their same-sex partners.
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 17, 2012

    Well, and I haven't read the book-but it appears to me it's just another book about a family that's "different" but in a lot of ways the same as ours. They laugh together, etc.

    It bothers me that it's looked at as promoting homosexuality instead of what I believe the true message was and that's promoting tolerance. Same-sex marriage is all over the news these days, I don't think you can completely protect your kids from knowing that it exists.
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 17, 2012

    I've had at least two students who had same sex parents. One of them had two mothers and two fathers (and an overflow of loving indulgence, too). This book would have been good for them.
     
  12. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jun 17, 2012

    The book wasn't banned, but it has been placed on a form of restricted access. Still, if a parent feels this would be a good book for their child to read, the book IS available.

    The decision to take the book off the shelf and put it behind the counter was made by a 7-member committee after the parents of a Kindergarten girl complained about the book. The district spokesperson said the book was removed from the library shelf because "State law says schools can’t have anything in the curriculum that advocates homosexuality". That isn't entirely true, if I read the law correctly. According to Utah state law, homosexuality cannot be mentioned or discussed in sex education classes. It doesn't specifically prohibit homosexuality from all curriculum that I could see. Even if it did, I don't think having a book on the library shelf automatically makes it part of the curriculum, unless it is on a required reading list for one or more of the classes. Theoretically, the book could sit on the library shelf forever without every being read.

    While the decision to put the book behind the counter may be troubling, given the state law and the parent complaints, the school could have decided to ban the book completely, so the situation could have been worse than it is.
     
  13. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jun 17, 2012

    As for the speech by the 5th grader, I thought it was amazingly poignant and mature. It showed kids that age do understand important and complex issues better than we might think. I think the speech was very well written and was an inspiring choice.

    Frankly, I think the boy deserves a tremendous amount of credit for choosing a topic like this rather than something that would have been much easier and "safe" to research.

    I'm glad he is going to be allowed to give his speech in school and I feel he should have a very good chance to win the overall contest.
     

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