Freedom to Read Week is a time to reflect on the right to intellectual freedom provided by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Hearing stories of empty bookshelves in school classrooms and libraries in parts of the United States due to the restrictive laws being enacted by politicians should serve as a reminder of how important this right is.
David A. Robertson (The Misewa Saga, On the Trapline, When We Were Alone) said in response to his book The Great Bear being removed from school bookshelves:
“When adults make unilateral decisions to censor literature b/c they think kids aren’t ready, it’s the adults that aren’t ready. They’re doing kids a disservice at best. At worst, they’re insulting kids’ intelligence & ability to create change.”
You can read the story about his book being removed from school bookshelves in Ontario schools.
In the Surrey School District, teacher librarians:
“ … are committed to the defense and promotion of intellectual freedom. Teacher-librarians are committed to the conviction that education, not censorship, is the key to helping students to be successful in critically and thoughtfully acquiring, analyzing and synthesizing information. We will provide students with the opportunity to choose books they are interested in and maintain a collection of varied reading materials that are representative of the diversity of thoughts, views, ideas and expressions in our school and global community.”
You can read more about Freedom to Read week and download materials.
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