The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District voted 5-2 to remove “I know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” “Catch-22,” “The Things They Carried,” and “The Great Gatsby” off of an approved list of books that can be taught in school.
The Alaska school’s Vice President, Jim Hart, stated that “the removed books contain content that could potentially harm students.” Unapproved content in these books include “anti-white messaging,” “sexual references,” “bad language,” and “violence.”
Parents, teachers, and other consumers of these books knew that the board was going to discuss the controversial books but “no one believed those works were under serious threat.” The aforementioned book enthusiasts plan to challenge the decision and get the books reinstated.
In response, Mr. Hart said that the students were “still free to read the books on their own.” Sources familiar with the students’ thinking said they would never read those books unless they were forced to do so.
Some philosophers have theorized that citing potentially harmful content is merely a thin veil to disguise the real reason these books have been banned: they’re terrible and highly overrated while underrated books with quality content such as Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers have gone unnoticed by school districts across the world.