General Question

Justified's avatar

Is it alright for a teacher to ban a book?

Asked by Justified (34 points ) May 30th, 2014

I’m 12 and LOVE reading- especially John Grisham novels. But my teacher doesn’t allow us to read any books that are no in the Lexile program, because she’s too lazy to mark quizzes. Long story. But at the end she allowed people to read what they want, except me. Ms. Swan banned Grisham. I find it stupid, since Ms. Pynes, the deputy principal said I could and should, but Swan doesn’t allow it. The worst part is, The Hunger Games is more violent and not for my age, though I find Grisham SO much!!!!! What should I do? I HAVE talked to my teacher.Thanks;):)

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32 Answers

janbb's avatar

Read whatever you want – just not for your school assignments. Some fights you won’t win.

syz's avatar

Use the approved list for your school assignments, read what you want on your own time.

Stinley's avatar

Yes, what @janbb said. Read what you like at home. Join the public library, or make use of your school library. Borrow books. Read everything. Try all sorts of different authors and genres of books. Read above your level – you learn best when you challenge yourself. Try the classics too – The Hobbit, To Kill a Mockingbird, Little Women. If you like John Grisham, you might like detective novels, through many of them can be a bit violent or gruesome. Agatha Christie is very good. Philip Pulman writes well for your age group – he wrote the trilogy called His Dark Materials which was made into The Golden Compass.

Keep reading and you won’t go far wrong.

Pachy's avatar

This is one of those “My way or the highway” hurdles in life which will increase in number as time goes by. The saving grace about this one is that, as others above wisely say, you can ignore it after the day’s last bell rings and read whatever you wish.

janbb's avatar

I read all day every day in school. Just hid the books under my desk top. Maybe why I flunked Honors Chem!

ibstubro's avatar

Grisham is trash. Try Scott Turow.if you like legal. He’s a much better writer and might make it past your teacher.

If you have email for your teacher, you should send a note to John Grisham with your question here, and suggest he respond to your teacher’s email address. lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, have you considered the possibility that someone in authority told her not to allow you guys to read anything that’s not on that list? Like, maybe the Board of Education?

cazzie's avatar

There has to be a limit for school assignments. It is used to encourage you to read something you might not otherwise consider. I remember this well. Your teacher hasn’t banned the book, she just said you can’t use it for a report or class credit. BIG difference. Read what you want in your own time. Use the listed books to do your reports on. I was on a big kick in high school for Merlin and King Arthur mythology. (stuff written by an author using the pen name Mary Stuart) It wasn’t on the list, so I read 1984, Animal Farm and Brave New World, and I was SOOOOO GLAD I DID! They were more life changing books than the stuff I was reading for fun. If I was an English teacher, I don’t think I would allow Grisham or Dan Brown or Michael Crichton and the Hunger Games would be very borderline.

bolwerk's avatar

Most teachers are right-wing authoritarians who hate and fear knowledge. Get used to it, it probably just gets worse.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I remember having to read stuff I would never have read otherwise. Shakespeare for one. I was stunned in the end. Had no idea how deep the stuff was. The Old Man and the Sea.

@bolwerk Most teachers are people who love kids, love learning, love teaching, love knowledge, but have their hands tied by the Powers That Be.

cazzie's avatar

@bolwerk you are so wrong. poor thing. What they are guilty of is trying to force an education of rounded viewpoints into kids who are feed a steady diet of instant gratification and choice, who wouldn’t know a piece of good literature or a good reflection of the human condition if they were hit over the head with it.

ibstubro's avatar

There should be term limits for teachers. Or at least mandatory 1 year paid vacations every 5 years after the 7th. I think @bolwerk might be responding to teacher burnout.

bolwerk's avatar

I was referring to American teachers, of course, not other countries. But mean-spirited teachers and school admins are a major reason so many Americans turn out to be such stupid, illiterate, petulant authoritarians later in life.

ibstubro's avatar

Teaching is something you should want to do. Not a ‘career’, @Dutchess_III.

I did my student teaching under a witch that had quit teaching to open a florist shop that failed, so she ‘fell back on’ teaching. It burned me so bad I quit college rather than have the ‘fall back’ option.

I think it would be wise to give them time to contemplate and explore. It would be a much needed ‘perk’ and I would not penalize them for making additional money in the time off.

gailcalled's avatar

Oops. OP is 12.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@ibstubro Well, I never said anything about a career. But of course teaching is a “career” if that’s what you do all of your life. So is being a doctor or a lawyer. Has nothing to do with whether or not you like it. It is what it is.

Career: an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one’s lifework: He sought a career as a lawyer.

cazzie's avatar

The mixed signals she is getting from the school administration isn’t good. This sort of thing really needs to be a one or zero sort of decision. @Justified, it is GREAT that you love reading, but it is your teachers job to make sure you read a variety of books. Reading from just one author is like only eating one favourite food. How will you know what you like and don’t like until you eat/read other things?

janbb's avatar

@gailcalled I was wondering about that. 7th grade….

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

She’s gone.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@cazzie but we don’t know what context she presented her reading preferences to when she spoke with the VP. She may have just had a discussion and said she likes Grisham and the VP said, “Cool. Keep it up.”

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bea2345's avatar

Don’t let anyone stop you reading whatever you like, @Justified. Over time, you will develop your own reading tastes and habits. Just think: many, if not most, of the people who write for a living are voracious readers.

Stinley's avatar

Aw, I felt for her. She reminded me of my 12 year old

Pachy's avatar

Most teachers are right-wing authoritarians who hate and fear knowledge.

How sad your schooling must have been (or is) to make you so cynical, @bolwerk.

JLeslie's avatar

The OP says other students could read what they wanted. I assumed that meant it did not need to be from the official list provided. If that is the case, then she should be able to read what she wants. If all the children need to pick from a specific list, then the OP should too.

I agree it is important for teachers to expose us to many different authors and literary styles, but what I don’t know from what the OP wrote is if she is referring to independent reading required by the school curriculum. The big push these days is for kids to read period. They put reading in everything.

Justified_'s avatar

Hi guys! This is my new account! Sorry, they deleted that old one.

bolwerk's avatar

@Pachy: mine was probably better than most. Most of my classmates came out at least quasi-literate.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Hey @Justified_! Glad you’re back. Could you clarify some things for us? Exactly what was the lesson? What were the rules?

dappled_leaves's avatar

The OP can’t come back – she is too young to join Fluther. Hopefully, she’ll return next year when she meets the jelly requirements.

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