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03/15/2023 06:10 PM

It Must Stop

Teachers and librarians are our heroes. For years they have done the heavy lifting of educating our students. Since March of 2020, they have worked in a very different environment seeking to normalize education for a group of young people who have gone through the trauma of a pandemic. No one alive today has ever seen such an event before 2020.

Some cannot see the toll the pandemic has taken on the education community. Within that group are a small group of Guilford residents who think it is perfectly acceptable to bypass procedures and common courtesies by attacking teachers and librarians by name on social media. Rather than afford these individuals the one-to-one communication they deserve, the communications are posted for all to see. There is a word for that. It is bullying, not to mention extremely disrespectful.

It must stop. Parents have the freedom to engage and ask questions and seek different paths for their children when they find the curriculum or study materials objectionable. They don’t have the freedom to bully these individuals in public or in private. Those who cross the line need to be held accountable for their actions.

The most recent excuse for these attacks is select award-winning books. They are available to students who seek outside reading but are not in any required curriculum. These books have been vetted for the intended age groups by quality professional journals. They have won awards, one being named as one of “the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences.” Another was deemed “Best Fiction for Young Adults.”

A reviewer writes, “This is a story that will be read and reread, and for some, it will be the defining book of their adolescence.” There is no excuse for removing these books from availability.

Tim Sperry