One woke Ontario school is demonstrating how undesirable books are removed from libraries. The material doesn’t perish in book burning ceremonies but is simply removed from the shelves.
The Peel District School Board (PDSB) went even further and decided to eliminate all books published in 2008 or earlier, according to CBC News.
The blanket censorship is a result of an Ontario Ministry of Education decree on equity that demands all books available to students are inclusive. Apparently, at least one school apparently determined that 2008 was the demarcation line between acceptable, inclusive books and those that do not meet this undefined standard. Weeding by publication date may explain why The Very Hungry Caterpillar is unavailable in a Toronto School, Diane Lawson of Libraries not Landfills was told by a kindergarten teacher.
Books that have been removed from Erindale Secondary School in Mississauga include Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.
Grade 10 student Reina Takata told CBC that the shelves of her school library are literally bare because of the seizure of forbidden books.
"This year, I came into my school library and there are rows and rows of empty shelves with absolutely no books," Takata told CBC. The student estimates about 50 percent of the library has been removed.
Takata says students were warned about the coming dearth of books in a school directive that said, "if the shelves look emptier right now it's because we have to remove all books [published] prior to 2008."
Parents and students have a lot of questions and want to know if the PDSB plans to maintain this book policy and continue to censor what students can read in their library.
Takata told CBC that she is specifically concerned about books disappearing that tell the story of Japanese Canadians being interned as potential enemy agents.
"I think that authors who wrote about Japanese internment camps are going to be erased and the entire events that went on historically for Japanese Canadians are going to be removed," she told CBC.
"That worries me a lot."
Nearby Durham District School Board (DDSB) took the province’s decree on equity to another extreme when it defended and decided to keep a pornographic book in its library shelves – even though parents were furious about it.
The DDSB considered it an issue of “human rights” to keep Maia Kobabe’s memoir Gender Queer available to students. The book is about the author’s gender identity experiences while an adolescent. It includes graphic accounts and pictures of sexual activity.
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