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Antiquated censors

Published November 17, 2012 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "Davis district sued over flap about lesbian mothers book" (Tribune, Nov. 13):

The legal action involving the Davis County School District and Patricia Polacco's book In Our Mother's House is an embarrassment. A report from the school district states that parents believe the book "normalizes a lifestyle we don't agree with."

The book is certainly antithetical to the homogeneity of Davis County's religious identity, but is that reason enough to ban it? Further, is there any validity in a pedagogy that censors contrarian viewpoints, instead of embraces them?

The view of the school district is antiquated. It also violates the basic tenants of the First Amendment, doing a disservice to its students.

Perhaps it is time for the Davis County School District to re-read John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty," the essay that helped give birth to our First Amendment: "However unwillingly a person who has a strong opinion may admit the possibility that his opinion may be false, he ought to be moved by the consideration that however true it may be, if it is not fully, frequently, and fearlessly discussed, it will be held as a dead dogma, not a living truth."

Mason Jones

Salt Lake City