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YA authors stand up to "Son of Swift Boat"

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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:25 PM
Original message
YA authors stand up to "Son of Swift Boat"
Young readers deserve a breadth of literature

by

Sarah Littman



I'm fortunate to be part of the community of children's and young adult authors; not just because those writers are an incredibly fun bunch, but because they care so passionately about young minds.

Recently, on a Young Adult Authors Listserv, author Lisa Yee posted a story from the Austin American Statesman. The board of trustees at Austin's St. Andrew's Episcopal School turned down a $3 million gift because the donor wanted Annie Proulx's short story "Brokeback Mountain" removed from the optional reading list for 12th-graders.
"Brokeback Mountain" tells of two ranch hands in Wyoming who fall in love and have a homosexual relationship. They continue to meet over the years even though their lives take different directions.

The donor, film producer Cary McNair (son of Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth funder Robert McNair) said that reading and discussing stories involving homosexual sex runs counter to the school's mission statement of providing "a Christian environment" and seeking "to develop moral behavior."

The school thought otherwise. "St. Andrew's has a policy not to accept conditional gifts, whether it's $5 or $500,000," explained Bill Miller, a member of the board of trustees. "When the McNair family looked at their gift in a conditional manner ... the school could not accept it."

My author colleagues, many of whom have had their books challenged, were overwhelmed by the depth of St. Andrew's conviction. "They gave up $3 million rather than compromise the principles of academic independence and intellectual freedom," said author Brent Hartinger. "We authors wanted to show our thanks, so we formed AS IF! (Authors Supporting Intellection Freedom) and are all sending signed copies of our books." The school will display these books (more than 60 have been sent so far, including those by award-winning and best-selling authors) in a planned "Freedom Library."

<snip>

http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/opinion/columnists/sc...
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. Awesome!
YA is my preferred area of librarianship, even though now I'm working in an area pretty far from it (medical academic library). That's such a cool idea, and it'll teach those close-minded shits a lesson about trying to prevent others from accessing information.
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Democrats_win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. Austin's St. Andrew's Episcopal School: a.k.a. Heros!
This school is setting a fine example of how to grow up to be good Christian men and women.
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politicaholic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. Of course they wouldn't donate 3 mil. toward...say...education...
just what they DON'T want the kids to know like:
Homosexuals exist
War is bad
The earth is round
"She's a witch!" is not a legitimate indictment
etc...
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. as long as none of it was spent on "science"
or even "history," really.
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misternormal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
4. Kudos
to those that exemplify freedom.
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Fridays Child Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. If you want to send them a gift, go here...
In the space next to "This is a Joint Gift from myself and:" I typed "my family, in honor of AS IF." Of course, I donated a very small amount, not even listed as a giving category. But, still, it's the symbolic value that's important.

https://payments.auctionpay.com/ver3/?id=w015722
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. thank you!
n/t
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. My niece graduated from St Andrews this year!
It is a very good school. Really makes one understand the tremendous advantage a child gains from attending a private school. Or even a public school in a rich district. The repubicon dream world, kids with well to do parents get a quality education.

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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. how lucky to be materially comfortable and still open minded!
Your niece is one of the lucky ones...
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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
9. Mr. McNair's IMDB profile
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 11:30 PM by devilgrrl
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. hmmm... so he has one title under his belt as "producer..."
Must be nice to be born into those rich GOP coffers...
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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Oh, I know!
Where did he get 3 million bucks? Shit, he can make a movie with that.
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-20-05 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. maybe now he'll option some of those donated books!
:evilgrin:
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lildreamer316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
10. Well damn.
Christian Values at work...love it!!
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