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Teacher banned for using ‘Freedom Writers’ book

Posted by Texas Education on June 30, 2008

Just stepping outside Texas Education for a bit. I thought this was, at least, newsworthy. CNN reported about a teacher who decided to teach/read the book “Freedom Writers,” a book by Erin Gruwell and later a movie was made (a must see by any teacher.)

Here’s what one person wrote concerning the story:

Technically, she was fired because she was insubordinate.
Realistically, she was fired because the book was banned from

She did deliberately not collect the books from her students
after she got an email from the district telling her to. So
that’s the insubordination.

She waited three months before that to hear about using the
book, and when nothing happened, got permission from 149 of
150 students’ parents to use the book.

It’s in the school library, but they said there’s a ‘lesser
standard’ for books that go in the library. That’s funny to
me, because at least with a teacher, the kids would have an
adult to discuss the ideas with.

One of the district board members said that the teacher set a
bad example by doing something she was told not to do. I
think she set the example that you do something in good
conscience, even if you know that the result for you will be
negative–civil disobedience and all that.

Ellen Gruwell even testified at the hearing. (from teachers.net)

Also, one of the anonymouses from detentionslip.org (I just love this site) said:

Welcome to America. Land of the free. Home of th…ose afraid of books. She went to the parents – there is no higher authority for a child’s learning than a parent. Breaking the rules for the right reasons is better than doing the ‘correct’ thing. I think that those freeing slaves illegally and the Founders of America might have something to say about “the ends do *not* justify the means”.

and T said:

This woman has shown that she is a very passionate teacher who wanted to do right by her students and to engage them to be better people. It seems to me that she is also standing by her principles.

149/150 parents gave permission to read this book. The parents spoke. The school board should listen.

You can go to that website to get more of the smart comments, along with the not so smart ones (I just love this one):

Just another ‘glowing example’ of why Homeschooling is the only sane and necessary alternative to the socialist ‘youth indoctrination camps'(gov. schools) that infest our once fair country. Read ‘Dumbing Us Down’ by John Taylor Gatto if you need insight into why ‘public schools’ are nothing more than training grounds for our young to fail in life. Yours In Liberty!

Wow, public schools are nothing more than training grounds for our young to fail in life? I guess that would include me. I guess I’m a total failure, along with, well, almost everyone I know. I honestly can’t think of anyone (off hand) that I know who went to a private, or Catholic school. Oh, I take that back, I may know of a few that went to Catholic schools, but a lot of them ended up going to public high schools, I do know that. I enrolled my son in our Catholic school for kindergarten, but had heard our public schools were better. I never got the chance to find out, we moved the following year. (Just some trivia about me and mine.)

This story seems a little djavue-ish. You can read what the Southside times wrote about this story.  On that blog there is someone, Steph Mineart, who has a great blog also, said, commenting on what Richard said:

“And I feel that the school district should not be promoting books with blatent cussing in them. But, since this story is not about the book, it is about her insubordination, perhaps we should talk about that.”

First of all – the work blatant is spelled B-L-A-T-A-N-T. You need to go back to English class, outraged_at_teacher, before you comment in public, because that.

Please. The story IS all about the book. Without it there would be no issue at all. No one is fooled by that line of cheap rationalization.

I can’t believe that anyone is objecting to this book because of “cussing.” That is ridiculous. Kids in high school are not STUPID. They can read words without adopting them into their everyday lives (as if none of them use these words already.)

It’s time for the prude police to grow up and get a life.

2 Responses to “Teacher banned for using ‘Freedom Writers’ book”

  1. rubyeliot said

    Thanks for this story!

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