We applaud the recent vote by a Blue Valley School District committee to keep the novel “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison in the district’s curriculum. The novel was challenged by an Overland Park resident who wanted the book removed because that resident believed it had inappropriate content. The courage displayed by the district committee is something all Americans can be proud of.
The attempts of pressure groups to censor literature in our public schools do nothing to further the intellectual growth of our children. Censorship only serves to stifle the creative thought process. The ability to read and have access to great works of modern and classical literature is vital to the attainment and advancement of knowledge.
United States Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan once wrote, “one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.”
Harlan’s words sum up the impossibility of developing a definition of obscenity that isn’t hopelessly vague and subjective. If Americans allow pressure groups to arbitrarily determine what is obscene and what is not, we shall allow a terrific injustice to be thrust upon our children and the future of our diverse culture.
Brett Shirk, Executive Director
ACLU of Kansas
and Western Missouri,
Henry E. Lyons, President
Boo Tyson, Executive Director