CPS book banning.


Photo: CPS Chatter.

Is there a free speech storm brewing at Lane Tech?

Here is what I am hearing.

CPS suits apparently sent a directive to Lane (and how many other high schools?) on March 13th, 2013 to remove copies of the graphic novel, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.

Persepolis deals with the Iranian Revolution and issues of intolerance. The author wrote a sequel. An award winning animated movie was made in 2007.

But the staff at Lane Tech’s library were directed to remove the book from their shelves.

I have been told that some students reported the removal of Persepolis in a journalism course. As reporters, those students called CPS central offices to try to find out what had happened and why the books were being removed.

On March 14 Lane staff members received the following email:

Yesterday afternoon, one of the Network Instructional Support Leaders stopped by my office and informed me (per a directive given during the Chief of Schools meeting on March 11) that all ISLs were directed to physically go to each school in the Network by Friday (3/15) to:*Confirm that Persepolis is not in the library,*Confirm that it has not been checked out by a student or teacher,*Confirm with the school principal that it is not being used in any classrooms,*And to collect the autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi from all classrooms and the Library.I was not provided a reason for the collection of Persepolis. If I learn more I will inform all staff.

Are there legal issues involved in book banning at CPS?

One teacher shared this:

Board of Education vs. Pico in 1982 states that is illegal to remove a book from a high school library. This, effectively, is a violation of the Freedom of Speech. Board of Education v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853 (1982), was a case in which four Justices of the United States Supreme Court concluded that the First Amendment limits the power of local school boards to remove library books from junior high schools and high schools, four Justices concluded the contrary (with perhaps a few minor exceptions), and one Justice concluded that the Court need not decide the question.

News on social media boards yield that CPS is claiming that there was a set of new books sent to schools and the distributor included copies of this one by mistake. Since CPS hadn’t paid for them, schools were asked to pull the books and send them back. “a mix-up’. The books, in fact, were purchased some years ago by an English teacher when she applied (and received) a grant to pay for them.

More to come. I’m sure

43 thoughts on “CPS book banning.

  1. It’s not just Lane

    Good Afternoon Fullerton Administrators,
    Per the CPS Office of Literacy and our Chief Lynda Williams, there is a RECALL for the book Persopolis.  Please remove these books from your schools’ classrooms and libraries.   Your school’s ISL will pick these books up next week.
    Should you have any questions, please call or email me.

    • This is city wide by CPS. Just read the principal’s email from Lane. It’s clear principals across the city don’t know why the book is being removed.

      I wish all the “literates” would read the photographed email before illogically thinking its only Lane.

  2. Wtf? This can’t be true. If it’s true, then B3 should be mic checked until she resigns. I would defend this book even if it were a crap book, but it’s a great book.

    I am currently working with a young person who has been driven out of Iran because of his religion. He’s here
    in America because America is supposed to stand for something. I believe it has something to do with the First Amendment.

    An I supposed to tell him that CPS is now working for the mullahs?

    This story can’t be true. It’s too appalling.

  3. Just finished teaching this to 10th graders. I have a bit of experience in writing defenses of banned books…check the ALA website for documentation…there must be a defense for this one. If not, count me in to write one!

  4. Dear Librarians –

    We have received clarification from the Chief Education Office that the directive to remove Persepolis from schools does not apply to school libraries, and that any further challenge or attempt to remove this or any other book from a school library must be guided by the Collection Development policy which outlines the review procedure.

    This clarification and a copy of the Collection Development policy has been forwarded to all school chiefs. As you know, the Collection Development policy is posted on the Department of Libraries wiki at http://cpslibraries.wikispaces.com/collectiondev

    Any questions regarding copies of Persepolis that are not in the school library should be directed to your principal.

    Thank you,

    Jeremy Dunn
    Chicago Public Schools
    Department of Libraries
    Educational Tools & Technology
    773 553-6215

    • What a load of repressive nonsense. Why are you people banning such an excellent book?

      There nothing offensive in it, I can only conclude the motivation is race. Which is…. disturbing.

  5. I didn’t find it streaming in English but it’s at Youtube with English subtitles. I love this story and it is delicious that a case may be made in court against CPS for banning it.

  6. ERASE THE BOARD! That’s who this is coming from.

    Dump Rahmney. Dump Duncan. Get on your reps to stop the corporate/idiot/White House sanctioned takeover of our schools.

  7. The book is included in the Common Core curriculum for both 7th grade and 11th grade, so there’s no way for the Board to plausibly claim the book was ordered “by mistake.”

    Common Core is what the Board has been pushing teachers to follow.

    So this means they are telling us what materials to teach, then ripping those materials out of students’ hands.

    • The right hand is numb to itself while the left hand tries to tear off the right one as the left hand sees the right as “the other”. Both deny the existence of feet since there is no flat earth, just a giant play structure. Welcome to CPSthink.

  8. If banning a book prevents one child from being senselessly bullied, or prevents a person from being libeled, then I am all for it. Our founding fathers had no idea when they wrote the 1st amendment that people would be able to use these high-speed assault printing presses, megaphones to amplify our voices, or unlimited minutes. They should have to have a background check for their use and operation! There are still plenty of other books out there. Why do you need this one? CPS isn’t saying you can’t have books, but ones like this one are merely meant to spread hate and discontent.

    Good job, CPS on banning this book. Your city’s ban on handguns has done a great job too on preventing murders.

    And, if you are up in arms that this book was “banned”, you are essentially arguing every point pro-second amendment folks make. Enjoy your hearty dose of incongruity!

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  10. Below are listings of Persepolis in the CPS.edu website
    1-4 of 4 persepolis.

    Literacy Content Framework SEVENTH GRADE TOOLSET VERSION 1.0 – SY12-13 CITY OF CHICAGO Rahm Emanuel Mayor CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION David J. Vitale President Jesse H. Ruiz Vice President Members: Henry …

    Literacy Content Framework ELEVENTH GRADE TOOLSET VERSION 1.0 – SY12-13 CITY OF CHICAGO Rahm Emanuel Mayor CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION David J. Vitale President Jesse H. Ruiz Vice President Members: Henry …

    Literacy Content Framework VERSION 1.0 – SY12-13 CITY OF CHICAGO Rahm Emanuel Mayor CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION David J. Vitale President Jesse H. Ruiz Vice President Members: Henry S. Bienen Dr. …

    Chicago STTP Curriculum
    Speak truth to power Human rigHts defenders wHo are cHanging our world Based on the book by Kerry Kennedy Photography by eddie adams and arcHitects of Peace containing the play Speak Truth To …

    In the CPS Seventh Grade Literacy Content Framework for this year Persepolis is recommended on page nine as a Text/Resource. It’s page 49 in the Speak Truth to Power curriculum (created for the Rahm’s Nobel World Summit prior to NATO gathering).

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