Follow the book banning 

"When you decide you

"When you decide you don"t want your child to read something because you find it objectionable, that"s parenting. But when you decide that other children also shouldn"t read it, it"s called censorship." That"s how John Krull, executive director of the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, described book banning in schools, as he prepared to open a copy of James Alexander Thom"s Follow the River. Last Saturday, Sept. 28, Krull and other ICLU members and supporters observed Banned Book Week with a reading of Follow the River at Noble Coffee & Tea on the courthouse square in Noblesville. The ICLU"s journey to this popular coffee shop began last winter when local school board members voted to remove the book from the required reading list for sophomores. Thom"s book is based on the true story of Virginia pioneer Mary Engles, who was abducted by Shawnee Indians and taken 1,000 miles cross-country into Indiana territory. Though the book is common required reading for high school students across the country and was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, the Noblesville school board took exception to a short passage in which Engles" husband has a nightmarish vision of his wife being sexually assaulted by Indians. Saturday"s reading was to have taken place at the Noblesville Public Library, complete with an appearance by the author. Yet, in a mystifying about-face, library officials cancelled the event. Krull and the ICLU board were dismayed by the library"s decision, but determined to make a statement about continued book banning. "Unfortunately," Krull said, "book banning is as inevitable as nightfall, and about as illuminating." The first reader was Noblesville High School junior David DeSlover, who attended school board meetings last spring to speak out against censorship of the book. "School board meetings have become a battleground for constitutional issues," Dislover said when finished reading, "and the school board has given themselves the ability to win the argument every time." Noble Coffee & Tea patrons in this conservative community were supportive of the ICLU"s position. A patron who asked not to be identified said, "When you consider all that kids are exposed to in our culture, the fact that the school board couldn"t seem to tell the difference between sexual references ý la Howard Stern and those found in true literature makes you a little afraid for the educational future of our kids."

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