Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five" Banned in Misery School Library

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
40,304
7,454
438
The Inland Empire State
#1
Two books pulled from Republic (Missouri) school library shelves

Republic board yanks novels by Vonnegut, Ockler.

10:35 AM, Jul. 26, 2011
Written by Claudette Riley
News-Leader

REPUBLIC -- Two of the three Republic High books singled out in a public complaint last year will now be removed from the school curriculum and library.

Shortly before 9 p.m. Monday, the school board voted 4-0 -- three members were absent -- to keep Laurie Halse Anderson's "Speak," an award-winning book about date ****, and remove Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five" and Sarah Ockler's "Twenty Boy Summer."

Wesley Scroggins, a Republic resident, challenged the use of the books and lesson plans in Republic schools, arguing they teach principles contrary to the Bible.

"I congratulate them for doing what's right and removing the two books," said Scroggins, who didn't attend the board meeting. "It's unfortunate they chose to keep the other book."

Superintendent Vern Minor said the vote brings a conclusion to the complaint filed a year ago. Scroggins told the News-Leader he has yet to give any thought to pursuing this further.

In making a recommendation to remove the two, Minor explained that "numerous individuals have read the three novels and provided their feedback." He conceded there wasn't always consensus about what step to take.

"We had some differences of opinion, I'll be honest with you," he said.

Minor said the process took a while because the 4,500-student district didn't want to look at the three books "in isolation." Instead, a task force was convened to develop book standards for elementary, middle and high schools.

The panel reviewed existing board policy and the public rating systems that already exist for music, TV and video games.

"We very clearly stayed out of discussion about moral issues. Our discussions from the get-go were age-appropriateness," he said.

"The discussion we've been having was not are these good books or bad books ... It is is this consistent with what we've said is appropriate for kids."

The board adopted the standards -- which cover language, violence, sexuality and illegal substances -- in April and those standards have since been applied to the three books.

As part of that, numerous individuals were asked to read the novels and provide feedback.

"It was really good for us to have this discussion," Minor said. "Most schools stay away from this and they get on this rampage, the whole book-banning thing, and that's not the issue here.We're looking at it from a curriculum point of view."

Minor provided a quick synopsis of each book in question and explained why it should stay or go:

» Support was strong for "Speak," which has been taught in English I and II courses.

Minor said only one page is used to "tastefully, not graphically" describe the ****, and there were only three instances of profanity in the entire novel.

By the end of the novel, the girl finds her voice and stops a second attack. "There's a message at the end that says that's not appropriate," he said.

» Minor said feedback for "Twenty Boy Summer," available in the library, focused on "sensationalizing sexual promiscuity." He said questionable language, drunkenness, lying to parents and a lack of remorse by the characters led to the recommendation.

"I just don't think it's a good book. I don't think it's consistent with these standards and the kind of message that we want to send," he said. "...If the book had ended on a different note, I might have thought differently."

» Citing crude language and adult themes, Minor said "Slaughterhouse Five" was more appropriate for college-age students.

"The language is just really, really intense," he said. "I don't think it has any place in high school ... I'm not saying it's a bad book."

Minor explained that the book standards apply to required readings, materials read aloud by a teacher, library resources and independent study selections.

He also noted that the "value and impact of any instructional material will be judged as a whole, taking into account the purpose of the material."

http://www.news-leader.com/article/20110726/NEWS04/107260366/1002/SPORTS/?odyssey=nav|head
“All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values. Well, as an old poop I can remember back to when we had those old-fashioned values, and I say let’s get back to the good old-fashioned First Amendment of the good old-fashioned Constitution of the United States — and to hell with the censors! Give me knowledge or give me death!”
-K.V.
 
Dec 8, 2004
48,651
20,949
693
Maine
#2
So much for that whole separation of church and state thing...
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
10,309
2,650
586
#3
Not speaking to the censorship issue, but why is S5 not considered a science fiction novel? I mean, it's fucking aliens abducting a man, for fuck's sake.

There's this weird thing where books that are patently science fiction (Slaughterhouse Five, most of Crichton's stuff, etc.) are not considered science fiction for the sake of marketing, while books that are anything but science fiction (check out John Ringo's "Ghost"/"Kildar" series) are found there, just because the author usually writes science fiction, or that's how the author broke into the industry.

Yeah, I know, it's just a stupid OCD thing. It doesn't really matter. But it annoys me.
 
Dec 8, 2004
48,651
20,949
693
Maine
#4
Not speaking to the censorship issue, but why is S5 not considered a science fiction novel? I mean, it's fucking aliens abducting a man, for fuck's sake.

There's this weird thing where books that are patently science fiction (Slaughterhouse Five, most of Crichton's stuff, etc.) are not considered science fiction for the sake of marketing, while books that are anything but science fiction (check out John Ringo's "Ghost"/"Kildar" series) are found there, just because the author usually writes science fiction, or that's how the author broke into the industry.

Yeah, I know, it's just a stupid OCD thing. It doesn't really matter. But it annoys me.
I'll ask the hot English teacher who boards her horse here what her school considers it as...
 

Don the Radio Guy

G-Bb-A-D
Donator
Mar 30, 2006
69,628
5,081
568
Wyoming
#5
So much for that whole separation of church and state thing...
Don't really understand the First Amendment, do you?

Slaughter House Five isn't usually considered science fiction since it deals with an historic event. I'd lump it in with science fiction too, but librarians are an odd sort.
 
Jan 9, 2006
4,561
11
228
Delmar, NY
#6
It's 2011. Every piece of literature and art is available at the touch of a button. Does banning books really have any impact anymore? If anything it's just going to make people more interested in the books.
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
10,309
2,650
586
#8
Don't really understand the First Amendment, do you?

Slaughter House Five isn't usually considered science fiction since it deals with an historic event. I'd lump it in with science fiction too, but librarians are an odd sort.
Heinlein's "Time Enough For Love" deals with a historic event, too. Still firmly ensconced in science fiction.
:icon_mrgr
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
40,304
7,454
438
The Inland Empire State
#10
Not speaking to the censorship issue, but why is S5 not considered a science fiction novel? I mean, it's fucking aliens abducting a man, for fuck's sake.

There's this weird thing where books that are patently science fiction (Slaughterhouse Five, most of Crichton's stuff, etc.) are not considered science fiction for the sake of marketing, while books that are anything but science fiction (check out John Ringo's "Ghost"/"Kildar" series) are found there, just because the author usually writes science fiction, or that's how the author broke into the industry.

Yeah, I know, it's just a stupid OCD thing. It doesn't really matter. But it annoys me.
You're right, I think it's a marketing issue. I think Crichton gets a pass because he was hardly exclusive to science fiction, and when he did he based a lot of the "fiction" on plausible future science and did a shit-ton of research on whatever he wrote about. State of Fear was a great book and I would love to have seen that made around the same time Gore's documentary hit the scene.

It's 2011. Every piece of literature and art is available at the touch of a button. Does banning books really have any impact anymore? If anything it's just going to make people more interested in the books.
Them banning it for "crude language" and "adult themes" is what's laughable about it. What's scary is it seems like one guy pretty much got the ball rolling with this.

Wesley Scroggins, a Republic resident, challenged the use of the books and lesson plans in Republic schools, arguing they teach principles contrary to the Bible.
The thing these fucktards don't understand is it doesn't "teach" anything. It's a discussion point. And this guy would probably be just fine with "teaching" the kids that Noah saved all of God's creatures during the great floods.
 

Falldog

Wackbag's Best Conservative
Donator
May 16, 2007
19,177
6,840
568
Nothern VA
#14
Not speaking to the censorship issue, but why is S5 not considered a science fiction novel? I mean, it's fucking aliens abducting a man, for fuck's sake.

There's this weird thing where books that are patently science fiction (Slaughterhouse Five, most of Crichton's stuff, etc.) are not considered science fiction for the sake of marketing, while books that are anything but science fiction (check out John Ringo's "Ghost"/"Kildar" series) are found there, just because the author usually writes science fiction, or that's how the author broke into the industry.

Yeah, I know, it's just a stupid OCD thing. It doesn't really matter. But it annoys me.
Because sci-fi is just the vehicle used in the novel, not the point of the road traveled or final destination.
 

Don the Radio Guy

G-Bb-A-D
Donator
Mar 30, 2006
69,628
5,081
568
Wyoming
#15
Heinlein's "Time Enough For Love" deals with a historic event, too. Still firmly ensconced in science fiction.
:icon_mrgr
Heinlein was primarily a science fiction writer though. Not so much for Vonnegut.

And Chriton's books are science-based fiction. He researches the shit out of the topics he does, so they're more fact on the science side of things. It's sort of like saying Michener was a history writer. He didn't do straight history, but fiction based on history.

As Falldog said, the science fiction was just a tool used to tell a non-linear story for Vonnegut.
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
40,304
7,454
438
The Inland Empire State
#17
And Chriton's books are science-based fiction. He researched the shit out of the topics he did, so they're more fact on the science side of things. It's sort of like saying Michener was a history writer. He didn't do straight history, but fiction based on history.
Fixed for sadness...:(
 

MrAbovePar

En Taro Anthony
Mar 14, 2005
13,775
3,168
678
Covington. La
#18
Science fiction is a vehicle for the story in EVERY science fiction book ever written.

You think Star Wars is about the technical details of the Millennium Falcon?
 

Falldog

Wackbag's Best Conservative
Donator
May 16, 2007
19,177
6,840
568
Nothern VA
#21
Science fiction is a vehicle for the story in EVERY science fiction book ever written.

You think Star Wars is about the technical details of the Millennium Falcon?
And you think S5 is about a guy traveling through time?
 

Josh_R

Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
5,847
458
578
Akron, Ohio
#22
This is one of the few things that makes me hate conservatives. No one gives a fuck if Jesus likes Kurt Vonnegut!
 

Don the Radio Guy

G-Bb-A-D
Donator
Mar 30, 2006
69,628
5,081
568
Wyoming
#23
I'd have to do a search on my Kindle, but I don't even remember the language being that bad. I'd be more worried about kids getting bad writing habits from it. Vonnegut does tend to meander about sometimes.
 

MrAbovePar

En Taro Anthony
Mar 14, 2005
13,775
3,168
678
Covington. La
#24
No, it's still not any less of a vehicle. It just uses real science and not fantasy science which most pulp sci-fi stories use.

There's only a few stories out there and they're just repackaged. You suggest a sci-fi story and I'll tell you what the story is about without mentioning sci-fi. Star Wars? Kid grows up and becomes a hero while confronting his evil father. Stargate-SG-1? A team of soldiers must defend their home against an attacker. Ender's Game? A kid must defend himself and his home from outsiders.

In the 1950s authors were writing stories akin to Apollo-13 and it was science fiction. Now it's drama.
 
Dec 4, 2010
3,596
2
0
Glassboro, NJ
#25
It's 2011. Every piece of literature and art is available at the touch of a button. Does banning books really have any impact anymore? If anything it's just going to make people more interested in the books.
Exactly! Thanks to this thread I just added three more books to my reading list.

By the way does anyone want to buy me a Kindle? Maybe each person could throw in one dollar instead of just one of you guys buying it in full. Thanks!