Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Letter Regarding RAINBOY BOYS Challenge

My buddy in Webster, Ove Overmyer, wrote this great letter regarding the RAINBOW BOYS situation. I think it adds important context:

Dear Bennett:

I think the events that have unfolded over the past few days needs some clarity. The fact remains that a parent complained about Mr. Sanchez’s book being on the summer reading list and wanted it removed, regardless of it being described as gay-themed or having inappropriate sexual content. Ms. Agostinelli chose to remove the book without consultation, therefore restricting the use to others. This action is defined as a book challenge.

Webster School District Superintendent Adele Bovards’ comments circumvent the real issue here. I take real exception to her saying that Mr. Sanchez rushed to judgement. The American Library Association’s Bill of Rights is very clear about challenged books violating the first amendment. Once the book first appeared on the list, the action of removing it can only be described as censorship. Simply put, the administrators need to step aside in their attempt to appease conservative minded parents while throwing curve balls to the media hoping that this issue will go away. I’m here to tell you that this issue is not going away until the assault on our freedom to read is eradicated. Challenging books and denying people access to information is not about moral and ethical code, it’s one of legal precedence.


Ove Overmyer

Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County
GAGV Library & Archive Project Coordinator
NYS Appellate Law Library, 4th Division
585.428.8143 / 585.423.9862


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