Book: Perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Intellectual Freedom Op-Ed Piece
It is quite possible that some parents and/or parent organizations would find many titles read in this class inappropriate for adolescents. Your task will be to explore a number of websites whose authors would agree with these parents. After exploring these websites, you are asked to write an Op-Ed piece for your local newspaper in which you respond to parents or organizations that challenge a book used in your class. This assignment should be based on a text that this course has covered prior to the due date of this work.
As a Middle School English Teacher, you’ve been asked to write an op-ed piece for your local newspaper in which you respond to parents and organizations who wish to remove certain books, which they find to be offensive, from schools. To strengthen your argument, you might consult NCTE’s position statement on censorship and intellectual freedom as well as their Anti-Censorship Center. You might also consult the intellectual freedom policy documents such as the Library Bill of Rights, other documents you deem pertinent published by the American Library Association, as well as relevant academic journal articles.
Your goal is to present a cogent response that showcases your understanding and analysis of pro-censorship positions AND your own views regarding the nexus of the teaching of literature within schools, intellectual freedom, and young people. Blindly re-stating the position of NCTE or the ALA will not help you earn a higher grade. Thoughtful analysis and integration of evidence to support your claim is key to success in this assignment.
For this assignment, your audience is the readership of your local paper. This local paper can be targeted at the context of your ideal future school, or the audience of the city of Chicago. Please specify on your choice of audience on your submission (this does not need to be in the actual writing of the op-ed itself).
Your response should be no 1050-1200 words and written in the style of an op-ed column (not a letter to the editor). You may find it helpful to read op-ed pieces that run in newspapers like The Chicago Tribune and The New York Times. You might also find it useful to consult the websites below that offer guidance on op-ed style and content.
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