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