Teacher suspended for using banned book

Discussion in 'General Education' started by cMcD, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,214
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 26, 2008

  2.  
  3. HMM

    HMM Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mar 26, 2008

  4. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,214
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 26, 2008

    They claimed that it was "racially charged" so she shouldn't have used it.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Mar 26, 2008

    I think its a little extreme punishment.
     
  6. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,276
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mar 26, 2008

    Wow! I thought this kind of thing ended when I was in high school a hundred years ago! I'm with HMM -- why was it banned?
     
  7. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,214
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 26, 2008

    The only thing I can think is that she really upset people (her supervisors, and school board members).

    Her supervisor repeatedly told her to stop using the book in her English class.
     
  8. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,214
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 26, 2008

    A news article states the following about the book:

    "The "Freedom Writers Diary" contains racial slurs and some sexual content, and encourages students to write about their experiences and reach out to students of different backgrounds."

    The corporation she teaches in, MSD of Perry Township, is not in the best area of Indianapolis. These students have probably heard of and seen worse things.
     
  9. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,214
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 26, 2008

    Excerpt from the Indianapolis Star:

    "Earlier this month, the board heard testimony from school officials arguing for Heermann's dismissal and from Heermann and several of her supporters. Her backers included Erin Gruwell, the California teacher whose students wrote "The Freedom Writers Diary" as part of a classroom project.

    Heermann's case has little to do with the merits of Gruwell's compilation of student writings, said board member JoEllen Buffie.

    "I'm very happy we have 10 copies of 'Freedom Writers Diary' at Perry Meridian High School," Buffie said. "That's not what this (issue) has been about -- not about the book, but about following the rules.""
     
  10. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,170

    Mar 26, 2008

    Sounds like she got nailed for insubordination - for having ignored repeated directions to stop - not for using the book as such. I'm not in favor of banning books by any means, but bosses whose directives get flouted tend to react badly, and the wise worker knows this.
     
  11. purplecrazy21

    purplecrazy21 Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2006
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 26, 2008

    There were 10 copies in the school that students were allowed to read, but they were not allowed to read the book in class? I do not understand this at all.
    This should have been a non-issue to begin with. If the school is going to carry copies of the book, then the teachers should be able to teach the book and help the students handle any issues that may arise.
    I understand being insubordinate, but that seems like a supervisor on a power trip.
     
  12. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,170

    Mar 26, 2008

    It's entirely possible that the supervisor was on a power trip, and I'm not condoning that... but bosses do tend to like to know that their "Don't!" will be taken seriously.
     
  13. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    3,322
    Likes Received:
    13

    Mar 26, 2008

    Ohhhhh, now, you really don't want to get me started on the mentality of "people" who believe in censorship. . . .

    HOWEVER. If she was specifically told NOT to use the book as classroom work, she should have been smart enough to use it in other ways and still be seen as obedient to the boss, who clearly needs a brain transplant but who also holds the reins of her job in his deficient little hands.
     
  14. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,807
    Likes Received:
    1,170

    Mar 26, 2008

    Pungently put, Mamacita - but, yes, that's it in a nutshell.

    In the school board's defense, it's entirely possible that the district in question has gotten badly burned elsewhere by one or more parental tantrums over controversial books.
     
  15. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,403
    Likes Received:
    1

    Mar 26, 2008

    Actually, if you look at one of the original articles http://www.theindychannel.com/education/15115112/detail.html
    it seems like she actually asked for permission to teach the book several times and never got a response for months, so she asked for parental permission and got it from all but one of her students, and she gave another book to that student. She also somewhat got approval from the superintendent and the principal, although they indicated that the curriculum director would have to give the final word. If I was waiting months to hear about a book and had to get on with my curriculum and two other higher ups indicated that the book was a good choice, then I would probably go ahead and teach it too, and never imagine that I would get suspended for it.

    I agree with the poster who said this person was on a power trip. That or they were out to get this particular teacher from the start.
     
  16. purplecrazy21

    purplecrazy21 Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2006
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 26, 2008

    I thought maybe there was more to this story. It is just incomprehensible to have copies of a book in a school that can't be used. If the principal and superintendant gave their approval, who was the supervisor that got so upset?
    I completely agree with stopping something if a higher up asks you to stop. However, this story just sounded fishy. This is a 27 year veteran. I'm sure she's very aware of procedure and how to select appropriate books. I know there is a lot I don't know, but I don't think a 27 year veteran would just up and defy orders like that.
    Oh well. This story has made me decide to run out and buy the Freedom Writer's book. Anytime a book is argued about or banned, I want to find out why. :) Great publicity for the book!
     
  17. jsfowler

    jsfowler Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    0

    Mar 26, 2008

    Our school district does not "ban" books. I actually celebrate banned books week and have several of the posters. Kids who never read jump at the idea of a book that has been "banned".
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Ima Teacher
Total: 373 (members: 1, guests: 351, robots: 21)
test