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Banned Books That Shaped America

Banned Books That Shaped America | Bans in Schools | Scoop.it
Meleny Weber's insight:

I first heard about certain books being banned from schools throughout the country in some of my other education classes here at UMD. I have heard of several of these books being banned, but I did not know there were so many! They even have an entire week dedicated to the books banned in classrooms today. The U.S. Library of Congress even created an entire exhibit on the books currently banned. This website lists 30 books that are banned and the reasoning behind the banning. Several of them caught my eye. One of the books at the top of the list is Mark Twain's, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn". Many parents and school systems do not allow students to read this classic because of the frequent use of the n-word. Other people have said that this book is “racially insensitive,” “oppressive,” and it “perpetuates racism.” Another book that is being challenged is the Autobiography of Malcolm X; a book that tells stories and stuggles of the past. People claim that these stories are a “how-to-manual” for crime, and often use "anti-white statements". One other book that really caught my eye on the list was Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter". This classic novel is banned from some classrooms because parents think it is pornographic and obscene. This novel caused a lot of drama when it was first released in 1850, and it is currently still the talk of the town. 

I am confused by these books being banned. First of all, I have read all three of the books I mentioned, and I have read a majority of the 30 books listed in the article. If they are banned, why did I read them? I did further research to answer my question and found that only certain school districts ban specific books primarily based off of what the parents of the students complain about. Secondly, as the title of the article says, these books are classics that so many Americans have read. They helped shape America to what it is today. Why would parents not want their kids to read these? I understand that some of the books listed have curse words, innapropriate words and actions, but that is what the world is full of. Parents need to stop sheltering their children, because eventually they are going to run into something in life. It is better for them to have a good basis of understanding about an issue before they are thrown into a world full of it. 

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Maryland school district bans hugs, party invitations and birthday cake in post-Sandy Hook overhaul of security policies

Maryland school district bans hugs, party invitations and birthday cake in post-Sandy Hook overhaul of security policies | Bans in Schools | Scoop.it
As schools across the country tighten security in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre, one Maryland school district is taking it to the extreme, banning everything from hugs to birthday cake.
Meleny Weber's insight:

This news article is about a county in Maryland, St. Mary’s County that decided to implement new rules. The rules include, banning hugs between students and adults who are not their parents, banning students bringing in baked good/treats to class, and banning birthday party invitations from being distributed in classrooms. The county was thinking about putting these rules into place for a while, but then the Sandy Hook incident happened, and the county moved on with the plan to implement them. I believe the school is doing the right thing, and is waiting to receive feedback from parents and families in the district. They want to know if more people support rather than disagree with the new rules. I have mixed feelings about this County’s new rules in the schools. I agree that the Sandy Hook Massacre was absolutely devastating, and rules should be put into place to prevent a future attack at other schools. At the same time, I do not think parents should be discouraged to hug students. With this rule in place, fewer parents are going to come into the school, meaning there will be fewer volunteers to help out. Parents will feel unwelcomed at their child’s school, and eventually may even go as far as to pull them out of that school. The other rules I feel are unnecessary to the function and safety of the schools. Banning students from bringing in baked goods to the classroom is semi-upsetting. When it was my birthday in elementary school I always brought in treats for my birthday. What do the classrooms do to celebrate without treats? This county banned homemade treats because of students with allergies. Students have always had allergies, and it was never a problem before. This rule is unnecessary, and students with certain allergies should know what they are. If they are too young to understand, the parent should be responsible for informing the teacher. There are so many ways to go about bringing in treats for all of the students in a safe manner, without having to ban them altogether. The final ban the article talks about is the ban that does not allow students to bring invitations to a party in the classroom. This rule was implemented because not every student in the class would receive an invitation, and some students got very upset. This rule I do understand, and agree with the support behind it. There are other ways for students to hand out invitations, such as delivering it to the invitee’s home, mailing it, or even sending an e-vite. Overall, some of these rules I can see the good behind, but others are simply unnecessary to the essential function and well-being of the county’s schools. I like that the article says the school district is still looking for feedback on the new rules. It shows that they are also not completely confident in their new rules, and that other school districts should wait to implement similar ones. This article has much better reasons for banning hugs in their school than the school in Australia. First of all, these schools in Maryland banned hugs between students and adults that are not their parents. The school in Australia banned hugs all around, even between two students. The school in Maryland banned hugs because they wanted to limit the amount of interaction between students and adults following the massacre at Sandy Hook elementary. The school in Australia banned hugs because a student received bruises from an over-enthusiastic hug from another student. There are very different reasons for these bans, and I agree much more with the St. Mary’s County Schools’ bans than the school in Australia.

 

 

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Will School Bans Kill One of 2013’s Hottest Toys?

Will School Bans Kill One of 2013’s Hottest Toys? | Bans in Schools | Scoop.it
As the plastic bracelet-weaving set Rainbow Loom becomes a national obsession, some schools have taken to banning the popular activity.
Meleny Weber's insight:

This is an article recording the story told by a news anchor for Fox News. It is in regards to the latest fad in kid’s toys, the Rainbow Loom bracelets. When you buy the $16 kit, its comes with a plastic “loom” and a set of rubber bands. You wrap the rubber bands in a certain way, and eventually it makes a bracelet. This article gives a background on the fad of these bracelets, how they started, why they’re so addicting, and why schools are beginning to ban them. The news story focuses on schools in New York City, because several have already banned students from bringing these bracelets kits to school. Teachers and school administrators have complained about students making bracelets under their desks during class time. While it is better than having kids on their cell phones under the desks, it is still a major distraction in the classroom. A spokesperson from the New York City Department of Education says that it is entirely up to the individual school’s principal in regards to the decision of banning these rainbow loom bracelets. The schools that have banned them from classrooms found them to be too much of a distraction, and therefore had no other choice. It does not seem to be a problem in many other schools around the country. However, the article does say that this fad has only just begun this year. I believe that these bracelets will continue to become more and more popular with students around the United States. With the holidays coming up very soon, I assume many children will receive these kits as presents. When the kids go back to school, this could become more of an issue. More and more principals and teachers could be forced to ban the bracelets from schools. I agree with this ban. I think it is very virtuous for the Department of Education to allow principals the opportunity to choose whether or not they will ban the bracelet looms from their schools. Each school is different, and only the staff at the individual schools will know if they need to ban them from their classrooms. This is a toy that can be used at home, and there is absolutely no need for it in the classroom. When I become a teacher, I would want all of my students paying attention to the lesson instead of focusing on making rubber band bracelets. They can make them in their free time at home, after homework is done of course!

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School bans students from using popular 'Hump Day' phrase

School bans students from using popular 'Hump Day' phrase | Bans in Schools | Scoop.it
The Geico commercial with the talking camel celebrating “Hump Day” is quite popular, but one school in Connecticut says the joke has worn thin. (School bans students from using popular #HumpDay phrase from #Geico commercial.
Meleny Weber's insight:

This news clip is about a school in Vernon, Connecticut that banned its students from saying the phrase "Hump Day". This phrase has been spreading around for quite some time, but more recently it has appeared in a Geico commerical. The camel is walking around an office asking all of the people, "what day is it?". At the end the camel says, "Hump Day!" in a funny voice. Many people, including adults, like to imitate the way the camel says hump day on Wednesday. To me, this is slightly ridiculous. To ban a saying is never going to work. Students watch TV, and many have seen the commerical in which the saying "Hump day" is in. The commerical isn't talking about hump in a sexual way, they simply mean the hump on a camel. Wednesday is referred to Hump Day because it is the middle of the week, and you have to get over the "hump" to get to the weekend. I feel like so many students would retaliate against such a lame ban, so there is no point in the school actually trying to prevent it from being said. This is a middle school, and usually the students tend to be more immature and innapropriate. I understand why teachers are getting upset, because I am sure students are oversaying the phrase. This happens in almost every middle school across the country. The news clip ends with the anchor saying, "Have they seen the news headlines recently? If this is the worst thing happening in Vernon, Ct, it's a pretty good day". Even the news anchor thinks that this lame is unnecessary. It is almost like a joke to everyone else except for the adminstration that placed the ban on the phrase. There are some bans that I can see reason behind, but this is simply not one of them. 

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UK EDUCATION: School bans homework to give pupils more 'family time' - Telegraph

UK EDUCATION: School bans homework to give pupils more 'family time' - Telegraph | Bans in Schools | Scoop.it
One of the Government’s flagship free schools is to ban homework to give pupils more time at home with their families, it emerged today.

Via arkonline
Meleny Weber's insight:

This article is about a college in Norwhich that has banned homework. Instead, the students do all of their homework at school during the day. The only thing is the day was extended until 5 p.m. to accomadate for the ban. This is a great article because it shows varierty. It shows America how other education systems are placing new policies. Of course, I do not believe the U.S. will ever follow in Norwich's footsteps, but perhaps if they show great results, we will look into it. This is also different because it shows a positive ban (at least I think). Schoolwork should be done at school and not at home. Being a student you spend most of your week in classes, so they should deserve free time in the evening to spend with their families and friends. Most bans in the news are of things like certain hairstyles, baggy jeans, short skirts, etc, but this is banning homework in order for students to spend more time with family. This is great, but I am curious as to how the teachers are dealing with this. Hopefully there will be an article that will update us on how the homework ban is working. 

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Australian school bans hugging - Telegraph

Australian school bans hugging  - Telegraph | Bans in Schools | Scoop.it
A school in Australia has made headlines after a 12-year-old student was given a detention for breaching a ban on "hugging" and giving a goodbye hug to her friend.
Meleny Weber's insight:

While I was reading this article about a school in Australia that decided to ban kids from hugging one another, I had to control my laughter. To me this is completely outrageous! How could a school actually discipline children from hugging one another? I have never seen a nasty or rude hug in my life. As I kept reading, the article went on to talk about the reasons behind the ban. They said that students were simply hugging too often. The principal of the school stated that the year before, there were bruises and injury from a hugging incident. To me, this sounds like a complete joke, and it does not belong on a news website. The article also includes interviews with several of the student’s parents. One said that hugging is a very welcomed thing in her family, and that this ban could cause her child psychological damage. I completely agree with this parent with the fact that this could mess up a child’s thinking, especially if they are very young. If a young student receives detention for giving someone a hug, that child could become traumatized. They may never give someone a hug again. There are so many things in life that are much worse than a simple hug, and schools districts/schools should maintain their focus on those things. If a school does feel the need to ban hugging, they need to have a much better reason than the fact that students do it "too much".

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well-junkfood-articleInline.jpg (190x127 pixels)

well-junkfood-articleInline.jpg (190x127 pixels) | Bans in Schools | Scoop.it
Meleny Weber's insight:

I found this picture online, and decided to add it to my page on bans in schools because it was different. It really caught my eye, so I decided to analyze it further. This picture is of two students, most likely in high school, standing in front of a vending machine. The vending machine however, appears different than most. It is a very bright orange color so it really draws peoples' attention. It also says "Eat 'em like junk food". To me, it looks like there are carrots painted on the side under the saying. This vending machine is dispensing carrots instead of unhealthy food like chips, pretzels, candy, etc. The saying makes sense because it wants students to eat the carrots and other healthy snacks as if they were junk food. Just pretend they are junk food, and you'll be that much more healthier. This is under the topic of bans because many schools across the country are banning vending machines from schools. Too many parents have complained about their children eating unhealthily at school from vending machines that only offer soda, candy, and chips. With this new type of vending machine, students are still offered a snack option, but it is so much healthier for them. With this vending machine substitution, both sides are happy. Students still have the opportunity to buy snacks when they are hungry, and parents are happy because their children are eating healthy things at school. I think this is a great idea, and it should be implemented into more schools across the country. 

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School bans most balls during recess: Smart move or going too far?

School bans most balls during recess: Smart move or going too far? | Bans in Schools | Scoop.it
A middle school bans most balls during recess and requires supervision of tag due to safety concerns.
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Schools Criticized For Bans On Dreadlocks, Afros - Huffington Post

Schools Criticized For Bans On Dreadlocks, Afros - Huffington Post | Bans in Schools | Scoop.it
Schools Criticized For Bans On Dreadlocks, Afros Huffington Post At schools in both Australia and...
Meleny Weber's insight:

A charter school in Tulsa, Oklahoma told a young 7 year old girl that she had to change her hair. Her hair is braided and in a ponytail, but the school claims that it is innapropriate. Her family decided they wanted to fight such a ridiculous ban, and they moved her to a new school where she can wear her hair in whichever way she wants. I think it is astounding that a school can claim what  a "respectful and serious" hair-do is. In the Charter school's dress code, they claim that such hairstyles as dreadlocks, afros, and mohhawks are innapropriate and can distract from the seriousness of the school. To me this is just such a shocking thing to ban. I believe students' should be able to express themselves freely and not have to change their hairstyle for any reason other than them wanting to change it. 

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