An Alaska school board voted to remove
five famous books from district classrooms, citing that they had “controversial” content.
The Matanuska-Susitna Borough
School District board voted 5-2 to yank
“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou.
“Catch-22” by Joseph Heller,
“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien.
“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and “Invisible Man”
by Ralph Ellison.
School board Vice President Jim Hart told NBC News
that the action was necessary because the books could
potentially harm young, impressionable students.
According to the Mat-Su release on the matter,
“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” was
challenged because of its “anti-white messaging”.
“The Great Gatsby” was dubbed
“too sexual,” while “The Invisible Man” was banned for its “language”.
Dianne K. Shibe, the president
of the district’s teachers union, .
told NBC that she was aware that “controversial books” were going to be discussed and voted on at the meeting, but nobody took it seriously.
“Most of the community didn’t respond, because these
books had been used forever,” Shibe said. “Now in
retrospect, it’s like, ‘duh.’ I could have seen this coming.”.
Hart explained that the books are only banned in schools, not in local libraries or book stores