Plymouth-Canton School District in Michigan Banning Books

ANGELA PASCOPELLA's picture
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

There’s an interesting controversy going on in the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, a middle-class school district in Western Wayne County. It has to do with banning books.

And while it hasn’t made headlines, the implications are ominous, and scary. This is a sizable district, with three high schools with more than six thousand students.

Plymouth-Canton has many students and parents who are trying hard to prepare for a college education. The district has a full set of AP, or Advanced Placement classes for exceptional students. One of the most popular of these is AP English, and one of the most popular teachers is Brian Read, who helped devise the current curriculum. Among other things, students have been reading two acclaimed novels, Graham Swift’s "Waterland" and Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel "Beloved."

But last month, AP teachers were suddenly ordered to collect copies of "Waterland" and prevent kids from reading it. According to a parent, Tim Rohrback, the superintendent, Dr. Jeremy Hughes, ordered the book removed after complaints from only two parents.

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