Skip to main content

It's now well-known that the Miami-Dade school board banned a series of elementary books because one, "Vamos a Cuba," presented an uncritical portrait of contemporary Cuba under Castro. This was after a complaint from one parent and two levels of review just on Vamos a Cuba (not the series) before the board discussion this week.

The facts are fairly clear:
  • The book presented an uncritical portrait of life in Cuba.
  • The book was in school libraries, not in the curriculum's required reading.
  • The school board members had evidently not seen the whole series.
  • The Florida ACLU is preparing a legal challenge, one they have a good shot at winning.

Beyond that, there's a whole load of perceptions. There's a clear difference between selecting material for the curriculum and material for a school library, and on principle I think that Vamos a Cuba should not be yanked from any library. It will join plenty of other mediocre books on the shelves, and part of our job as educators is to help children be critical of what they read.

To put this in perspective, Miami is certainly not alone in the U.S. as a place where lots of people feel comfortable censoring books from school libraries. The fact that this is shaped by Miami Cuban-American politics doesn't really change that fact. There are Cuban Americans on both sides of the censorship issue (though probably not many thinking the book is well-written), and I hope comments will acknowledge that. See Miami Herald reporter Matt Pinzur's blog for a set of links and reactions.

And put in your two cents below: Update [2006-6-17 19:4:4 by SDorn]: New poll answer added, due to popular demand.

Originally posted to Sherman Dorn on Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 03:31 PM PDT.

Poll

Should the Miami-Dade School Board have removed Vamos a Cuba and other books from school libraries?

0%0 votes
76%16 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes
23%5 votes

| 21 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site