Friday, March 24, 2006

San Antonio-area school board reverses book ban

SAN ANTONIO -- A suburban San Antonio school board has reversed the superintendent's ban of a critically acclaimed science fiction novel.

By a 5-2 vote, the Judson school district board Thursday overruled Superintendent Ed Lyman's ban of the novel "The Handmaid's Tale" from an advanced placement English curriculum. The vote came after nearly three hours of public comment, including from Judson High School students.

"If we do ban 'The Handmaid's Tale' because of sexual content, then why not ban 'Huckleberry Finn' for racism? Why not ban 'The Crucible' for witchcraft? Why not ban 'The Things They Carried' for violence, and why not ban the Bible and argue separation of church and state?" Judson senior Craig Gagne told trustees.

Lyman had banned the book by Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood after a parent complained it was sexually explicit and offensive to Christians. In doing so, he overruled the recommendation of a committee of teachers, students and a parent. The committee appealed the decision to the school board.

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