Unqualified Superintendents Want to Close Libraries and Burn Books
Spotsylvania, Virginia is the latest battleground where a community has pushed back against banning books, and the answer from politicians has been to just close the school libraries altogether.
That’s right: rather than reconsider banning books, Spotsylvania County might close down it’s school libraries entirely.
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These politicians don’t want vibrant debate and freedom of thought: if they don’t get their way, they prefer to take their ball and go home.
Even wilder is that this effort is being driven by the school system’s superintendent! A superintendent who was installed after the county’s politicians forced out the prior one- without cause!- who had been awarded Regional Superintendent of the Year and Teacher of the Year in Spotsylvania. The new superintendent, Mark Taylor, was put in place by county politicians and had no background in education.
In fact, one of his own children wrote a letter to the county board OPPOSING his being appointed to the position.
But the county’s politicians had their mind made up, and their extreme ideology on what books belong on the shelves is evident in their own public remarks.
“We should throw those books in a fire,” board member Rabih Abuismail commented during a meeting regarding what books they wanted to ban.
They want to burn books.
When has that ever been the right side of history?
Unqualified politicians that were not voted into office but were chosen by other politicians are making decisions for the people of Spotsylvania. And if they don’t get their way, they’ll close the schools’ libraries.
Or burn the books, apparently.
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The library is the largest classroom in the school. This is where education continues after students leave their classrooms. In fact, data shows that the presence of well-stocked school libraries contributes to higher overall testing scores and student success. Literacy, communication, critical thinking, writing and language are all improved through reading, and most students have the best access to reading materials through their school’s library.
That is what could be lost by shutting down a community’s school libraries. Test scores could decline, and students would lose a valuable space that contributes to their overall academic development.
And fundamentally, this is a question of freedom to choose. Do you want to have the chance to decide what your children get to read, or would you rather that politicians make that decision for you? Politicians who may not have any educational background or any experience working in education.
Politicians might just prefer to burn books than give people the freedom to make choices for themselves.