Op-Ed: Supporting Our Teachers Equals Supporting Our Schools
Group forms to back teachers in book-challenge debate.
On Jan. 10, a group of parents attended the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools Board of Education meeting. They came because of concern over the effort then underway to ban two critically acclaimed novels, Beloved by Toni Morrison and Waterland by Graham Swift, from the Advanced Placement English course at the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park. That night these parents and other concerned citizens formed the Supporters of Academic Integrity in Plymouth-Canton.
Now with well over 200 members and growing, our organization believes that censorship is wrong and that decisions concerning the development of curriculum in our schools should be made by our professionals in the field of education, without consideration of political pressure from outside groups. We support the existing protocol for selection of classroom materials because of the high achievement of our students that this process has produced. Many of us moved to this area because PCCS is recognized as one of the most desirable school districts in the state and we oppose any campaign that would weaken that high standard. While we firmly support the rights of parents to guide the education of their own children, we stand in strong opposition to any parents imposing their personal principles on other students. We believe that parental rights go hand in hand with parental responsibility.
Over the past month we have learned one thing: opposition to censorship is a non-partisan issue. Our organization, like the community we live in, is a diverse collection of people representing all political views. We support any and all people who share our view of academic integrity. Persons of all faiths or none at all are welcome to join our effort. Our focus is solely the protection of academic integrity and the continued freedom of highly qualified and effective teachers and administrators to develop and implement the curricula which are most advantageous to the students they serve without undue external influence. We look forward to working in a cooperative and constructive manner with the school board and citizens from all walks of life to ensure that this goal is achieved.
If you would like more information on our organization please visit us at SupportAcademicIntegrity.com.