News & Politics

Alaska Borough School Board Yanks 'Great Gatsby,' Other Classics From Curriculum

Palestinian refugee students receive new studying books inside their classroom, during the first day of a new school year, at one of the UNRWA schools, in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Sept. 3, 2018. The United Nations' Palestinian relief agency celebrated the start of the school year in Lebanon on Monday, managing to open its schools on schedule despite a multi-million dollar budget cut on the heels of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to stop funding to the agency. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

The cancel culture struck a blow for tyranny in Alaska as a school board has banned teachers from using 5 “controversial” books as part of their curriculum.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison are no longer to be taught in the Mat-Su Borough School District.

The board voted 5-2 to ban the books from classrooms. School board Vice President Jim Hart told NBC News why.

“If I were to read these in a corporate environment, in an office environment, I would be dragged into EO,” an equal opportunity complaint proceeding, Hart said. “The question is why this is acceptable in one environment and not another.”

I dunno, Jimmy. Maybe it’s because schools are not a “corporate environment.” They’re a learning environment.

More frightening to me is that he wasn’t asking if the books would be acceptable in one environment and not another. He was wondering why you can’t censor everybody. Censoring is acceptable as long as it’s applied uniformly?

The speech Nazis on the board apparently took everyone by surprise.

Even though the school board had listed an agenda item to discuss “controversial book descriptions,” Shibe said, no one believed those works were under serious threat.

“Most of the community didn’t respond, because these books had been used forever,” Shibe told NBC News. “Now in retrospect, it’s like, ‘duh.’ I could have seen this coming.”

They’ve been banning Huckleberry Finn for decades, so this is nothing new. But this latest push to sanitize reading lists is outrageously stupid. Any normal sixth-grader has heard the bad language in Invisible Man, and knows full well what the sexual references in The Great Gatsby are all about and it’s a lot milder and far less shocking to a 12-year old than the school board can apparently imagine.

The community has responded beautifully.

Mary Ann Cockle, owner of Fireside Books in Palmer, about a mile from district headquarters, said her store ran out of copies of the books within hours of the board’s action.

“People who had read the books years ago are buying them to read again and to give away,” Cockle said Tuesday. “Our biggest outpouring of support are people buying the books and donating them or leaving them to us to distribute for free.”

Anyone who believes these cretins are doing it to protect children aren’t familiar with human nature. This is about control and exercising the power to control whenever it’s given. They aren’t “protecting” anyone. They are inhibiting the learning process and in so doing, dumbing down their children.

Oh, yes…did I mention the First Amendment or was that even necessary/