The basic message from these readings is that the US school system came incredibly close to arbitrarily banning books. The first reading emphasizes how the way these books are selected to be banned is very irrational. Basically, in this particular county’s three members of the board of Ed (Ahrens, Martin, and Hughes) attended a conference in New York- they were sort of conservative people who just went into the library and picked out eleven of the “objectionable” books. The board voted to formally ban these books.
The members of school boards were basically a bunch of amateurs, often with surprisingly little sense or education, but had their own political agendas that they were trying to impose. What’s worse is that these people do not have any merits to decide weather and when the books were voted upon by the members of the committee, their own committee’s judgment was totally ignored. The literary merits of these books were totally ignored (two of the books won Pulitzer prizes).
This case eventually made its way to a conservative Supreme Court. By then the School board of Ed. Had changed their reason for banning the books to that the books contained vulgarity. The fatal mistake that the board of education made was not realizing the fact that one of the works did not contain any vulgarity, and claiming that work was banned because it was in “bad taste”. However, the decision could have easily been in favor of the school board if it wasn’t for this one little mistake. Four of the judges had decided that, while what the school board did wasn’t in good discretion, it was perfectly constitutional.
As I read about this case in I could not help but draw connections to the controversial issues that are going on in our times. People are still trying to ban books that they don’t agree with. The board of Ed still has enormous powers over our education, and still the members of the board are not...