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Speak Loudly

Please read this post.  Please speak up.  PLEASE.  Even just to spread the word.  I cannot tell you how much I wish I would have had this book for my friends and I during junior high and high school.  I could try, but I don't want to go that dark and personal on a public blog.  I'm not as brave as the amazing C.J. Redwine (read her post) or others relating personal experiences.  Just don't let anyone, especially this guy, take the voice and power of SPEAK away from teens of today, tomorrow, or 50 years from now. 

From Laurie Halse Anderson:

I need your help.

Please share your experiences with SPEAK; your own response to the book, or the way you’ve seen it work in a school setting. Tahleen has already posted her thoughts on her blog. You can do the same. Please share links to your blog in Comments.

But then, please speak up to the people who can make a real difference in Republic, MO.
You can submit a letter to the editor of the News-Leader.

You can write to the superintendent of the Republic School District, Dr. Vern Minor, or to the high school principal, Daren Harris.

You can comment directly to Scroggins’ opinion piece.

Then go to Lisa and Laura's blog to comment.  They're giving away a copy of SPEAK to a school or library for every 25 comments they receive there.

Thank you.


Beth said...

Casey, this is probably the most important blog post you've ever made. Thank you for sharing it with us. I will be taking action.

Julie Hedlund said...

Casey, thank you for bringing this to our attention! I just left the following comment to the piece. My blood is still boiling!!!

"So hundreds of thousands of people can declare "Slaughterhouse Five" one of the greatest books ever written but one man with a minority opinion can get it removed from a school district's curriculum?

I read "Speak" for the first time this year as a 39 year-old adult. Mr. Scroggins is so far off the mark about its content, themes and messages that it is impossible for me to believe he read the book. This book does the opposite of glorifying sex and villifying teachers.

The safest way for teenagers to evaluate the world around them and the situations and emotions they encounter is through books. I'd much rather have my daughter learn about the consequences of date rape in a book than in real life. Do you think banning these books is going to prevent bad things from happening to our kids? No. But it will make them less prepared to recognize and respond to dangerous situations, make them less likely to talk about these issues or ask questions of adults. Parents - SPEAK up!"

Casey McCormick said...

Thank you Beth and Julie.

Morgan said...

I'm so glad this issue is getting the publicity it needs. I've seen it on three or four blogs now! Speak is an extremely important book, and I wouldn't want anyone to be denied access to it.

Colene Murphy said...

I agree! We need to spread the word about this insanity! Linking your post.

Abby Minard said...

Thank you Casey- I live in the town this guy is from, and my daughter is in the school district. I am trying to rally the other parents to write to the superintendent about this. A friend of mine knows one of the English teachers at the high school- she has a whole case full of "Slaughterhouse Five" books that she is not allowed to distribute. Hopefully we can get this overturned.

Matthew MacNish said...

Thanks for spreading the word Casey.

Banning books is ridiculous. It doesn't work. You might as well try to ban knowledge.

Reading is a human right as far as I'm concerned.

Sherrie Petersen said...

I hadn't even heard about this until I read a post by Myra McIntyre. I'm glad to see how many people are speaking up. I hope it makes a difference.

Jessica Silva said...

I love how the YA community has totally jumped to arms.

Mine: http://jddeshaw.wordpress.com/2010/09/19/listen/

Heather Zundel said...

Thank you for putting up this post, Casey.

Heather Kelly said...

Casey--the best vindication is all the good press that comes out in response to the bad press of that one ignoramus guy. Thanks for the post.

Ishta Mercurio said...

Casey, thank you for this post. This is enormously important.

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

Such an important issue right now. I'm so glad you posted on it. I was stunned to discover anyone could take the stand this guy is taking. His argument just doesn't make sense to me.

Carolyn V. said...

Great post Casey. I have never read Speak. But I was moved by Laurie's poem. It sounds like an important book. I will have to read it.

LD Johnson said...

Let's look at the facts . . . a lot of teenagers (or children) don't have parents who care about what they read or study in school.

Those same parents don't listen to their children when they need to talk either. SPEAK gives all victims of sexual abuse a voice. As the reader falls into the abyss with Melinda, they also are with her when she pulls herself out.

Yes, this is fiction - but with a whole lot of truth behind it. If it helps one girl - one guy - then SPEAK should remain on library shelves everywhere.

How can we let one group's misguided opinions decide what our children will and will not read. SPEAK out and SPEAK up.

Casey McCormick said...

Thanks everyone! I appreciate your support. Let's not forget the other challenged books or the censorship battle in general either.