Friday, June 29, 2007

"Mental Inbreeding"

Banning Bad Books is Not the Answer. Reading this article by Rachel Kramer Bussel brought home to me the importance of teaching students to think for themselves in a world where social networks proliferate. When sites like Facebook are used to persuade high school kids that a creative prank would be a great idea on the final day of classes, kids need to be able to make the right choices for themselves. Making the right choice starts with being allowed to make choices in the first place, take the consequences for your actions and learn from your mistakes. This should be happening when kids are young and a bad decision has minimal consequences, "Gee, I wish I'd chosen the strawberry flavoured icecream instead of the lime." Let's not ban books but rather teach kids what to do when they come across reading material that is offensive to them personally: put the material down, skip the passage and go on reading or find someone to discuss the passage with.

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