Sunday, December 17, 2006

Newspeak - Book not "Banned" but "Pulled"

George Orwell's 1984, made use of the term Newspeak. Newspeak limited the vocabulary of the society and also removed any words that might lead to free thought, free speech, or any other rebellious ideas from the vocabulary of the people.

Newspeak was brought to mind when I read this story. According to the Daily Press & Argus, Howell Public Schools administrators are not 'banning' a book, but 'pulling' it. Well, that's a relief!

Deputy Superintendent Lynn Parrish, Deputy Superintendent stated that The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and The World Around Them is being reviewed by a committee. It contains controversial material which includes drug use, sex, and profanity.

However, one needs to hear the whole story of the Freedom Writers before making a call that their story should not be told.

In their own words,
The Freedom Writers Diary is the amazing true story of strength, courage, and achievement in the face of adversity. In the fall of 1994, in Room 203 at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California, an idealistic twenty-four-year-old teacher named Erin Gruwell faced her first group of students, dubbed by the administration as "unteachable, at-risk" teenagers. The class was a diverse mix of African-American, Latino, Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Caucasian students, many of whom had grown up in rough neighborhoods in Long Beach. In the first few weeks of class, the students made it clear that they were not interested in what their teacher had to say, and made bets about how long she would last in their classroom.

Read more about the teacher hero who helped them see how they could turn their lives around.

This inspiring story has been made into a movie which is due to be released in January 2007.

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