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Two Days Late, Journal News Reports on "Girl, Interrupted" Controversy

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Two Days Late, Journal News Reports on "Girl, Interrupted" Controversy

December 10, 2008 - 22:01
12 comments

lohudgirlinterrupted.jpgNo wonder newspapers are going out of business.

Two days after we first broke the story that copies of Susanna Kaysen's memoir Girl, Interrupted had been torn apart by school officials, the Journal News finally got around to reporting the story only after the school district sent them a press release.

Aman Ali of the Journal News is reporting:

School officials are distancing themselves today from the actions of the New Rochelle High School's English department staff, which reportedly tore out pages of a literature book used in a senior class because the passage included references to oral sex.

While it is nice to see our story get pick up in The Journal News - and maybe they will even put it out on the Northeast AP wire (hint, hint) - I would not that the article contains this sentence:

The news, first reported on a local blog, said someone in the school's English department tore out seven pages of the book "Girl, Interrupted".

Setting aside the grammatical problems, why no link back to our original story? We were considered a reliable enough source to lift our quote from Ms. Atlschul. How about a little credit for breaking the story? Heck, we link you guys all the time!

There are 12 Comments

Yeah, no credit--that's gotta hurt an ego as big as yours Bobbo

Is that your a counter argument? Not accustomed to being challenged? Typical and predictable...

If monitoring the conduct of teachers via live blogging is the way of the future, then perhaps we are all doomed.

At this point, I think we need to ask ourselves what do we want now? The school board has issued new books, replete with all pages intact. What next?

Rob, you are crucifying people for sport without any clear intent. LoHud didn't give you credit, sorry no new line on your resume. It was important to raise the issue but now let's think about how to constructively criticize the New Rochelle school district and not resort to this bloodletting.

This is as good as an online mob without any direction.

I'm really glad that civil society has you as its savior to stand up for justice.

Accountability comes in many forms. While it is great that you brought light to this issue, I think you are missing the larger point.

And no, I don't frequent your blog.

Aren't you glad you can express your views here? Try disagreeing with the Board of Education in New Rochelle. You too will have a rude awakening.

By the way anyone can setup a blog here. Try it.

It is always baffling to observe how those who do nothing, suddenly become motivated and critique anybody who does something.

The books have been replaced, the board has condemned the removal of the pages, the English Department says it is going to review its policies. Now there are going to be protests? To what end? What will the protesters demand?

Someone at the school made a mistake. We've all made mistakes. This one's been fixed. Move on.

We can all go back to sleep and wake up when it happens again. Then we will wonder what we did wrong.

Robert Cox's picture

First of all SAYING you are going to do something is not the same as DOING something.

But let's assume they do what they say. What's next?

How about the district clarify its policy on book challenges?

How about publishing their policy on their web site and announcing book challenges as agenda items at board meetings?

How about using this incident as a learning opportunity to invite groups like the National Coalition Against Censorship to speak to the students - and teachers?

What you don't seem to understand is that, according to reports since the story broke, teachers and students knew about these ripped out pages for years - AND DID NOTHING.

How about examining a culture of complacency that is so strong that people accepted for years something they now claim to be concerned about it. This issue should have been made an issue on the day a student first got a copy of a ripped up book.

Lastly, what about the person who made the decision and the person or persons who ripped out the pages. They have some explaining to do and should be disciplined in some way.

Is her comment posted somewhere? I can't seem to find it...

"The material was of a sexual nature that we deemed inappropriate for teachers to present to their students," said English Department Chariperson Leslie Altschul, "since the book has other redeeming features, we took the liberty of bowdlerizing."

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