Monday, December 08, 2008

The Latest in Book Censorship

Here is the latest in censorship from a school district in New York.
Pages from the middle of the book have been torn out by the school district after having been deemed "inappropriate" by school officials due to sexual content and strong language. Removed is a scene where the rebellious Lisa (played by Angela Jolie in the movie) encourages Susanna (played by Winona Ryder) to circumvent hospital rules against sexual intercourse by engaging in oral sex instead.

"The material was of a sexual nature that we deemed inappropriate for teachers to present to their students," said English Department Chariperson Leslie Altschul, "since the book has other redeeming features, we took the liberty of bowdlerizing."

Read more at Book Interrupted. I am shaking my head in stunned silence.


  1. Sounds like they just sold a lot more copies of that book! You can't BUY that kind of advertising for a decades old book.

  2. Well,that does it. I am now officially bowlderizing my marriage certificate, since I was married in New Rochelle. (At my parent's house.)

    Oh yes, and taking out every page in THE DEVIL'S ARITHMETIC that refers to the town, which would pretty much decimate the early chapters, but all in the higher cause of Decency.

    Come on, educators, HOW STUPID CAN YOU GET?

    Jane Yolen

  3. That is beyond absurd, I agree. And I have to say that my only reference to New Rochelle prior to this was from reading The Devil's Arithmetic.

    The blogger seems to indicate the the rules for challenging books were circumvented, if not ignored, in this instance - is that really going to go unnoticed??? Yikes!