Archive - Mar 23, 2012

"We Don't Ban Books at Beecher Road"

It has been a very long day, and I've gotten plenty of topics to explore writing about. When I finally got out of the office, I headed off to a dinner at Fiona's school. I sat down, and Kim asked Fiona to tell me about what had happened at school. Fiona told me that her teacher had told her "The Hunger Games" was not allowed at Beecher Road School. She was curious about why this was getting such a strong reaction from both Kim and I. At some point soon, we will sit down and talk about that.

There is a lot to talk about in terms of "The Hunger Games". Some may end up in the blog. Other parts might become part of Fiona's Radio Show.

When I got a chance, I walked over to the school superintendent. As a side comment, there is a lot of talk about teacher tenure in Connecticut and the role teachers play in student achievement. There is too little discussion about the role superintendents and principals play. Beecher Road School is a very high achieving school. There are many reasons for this, from the role parents play in the children's lives, to the teachers, and particularly to our superintendent.

He had been looking for me. He wanted to congratulate me on the good coverage that Fiona's Radio Show has received in the local press. He was particularly interested in my comments about encouraging parents to spend more time talking with the children. We talked about this a little bit, and then I passed on the report from Fiona about "The Hunger Games" being banned.

He quickly responded, saying something like, "Oh no, we don't ban books at Beecher Road". I said I didn't think so, and he assured me that he would look into it.

We returned to the underlying discussion. "The Hunger Games" is a book, and now a movie. It has violence. There are a lot of societal issues that can be addressed in discussions about this book. Kim and I will talk with Fiona and determine when we think it will be appropriate for her to read the book or see the movie. It is the sort of discussion that parents should be having with their children. It is not a fait accompli that should be handed down by a school.

So, following the format of Fiona's Radio Show, "I encourage all parents to spend more time talking with their children…" Whether they do it on an Internet Radio Show, or in the car driving somewhere, there are so many different ways a discussion about "The Hunger Games" can be important.

(Categories: )