Dealing with Censorship The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey DeShea Jones LSIS 5505- Fall 2010 Dr. Edna Cogdell Who Censors? Typically a librarian with deal with parents (or other family members and guardians) and organizations. Many times they feel that the book is inappropriate for the child or for children in general. Challenges in the School Setting The occurrences of challenges to children’s books is on the rise Today many Media Center Coordinators will have to deal with a complaint and/or challenge by a parent or other individual The school must have a solid collection development policy and challenge procedures to deal with these situations Steps for Dealing with Challenges Challenge is received 2. When speaking with the individual smile, listen, talk positively, discuss it in layman’s language 3. If the individual still wants to file a complaint have them fill out a Request for Reconsideration Form 4. Form should be turned in to the principal or other designated individual 1. Steps for Dealing with Challenges 6. A Reconsideration Committee should be formed 7. The book or other material will stay in circulation until a decision is reached by the committee 8. Once the decision is made the appropriate steps should be taken, whether it is to remove the material or keep it in circulation Who Should Be on the Committee? One member of the district staff chosen by the area assistant superintendent One member of the school teaching staff chosen by the school staff One member of the resource center professional staff chosen by the resource center professional staff One member of the school consultative committee chosen by the school consultative committee Two students chosen by the student body. ala.org What Will the Committee Do? Examine the challenged resource; Determine professional acceptance by reading critical reviews of the resource; Weigh values and faults and form opinions based on the material as a whole rather than on passages or sections taken out of context; Discuss the challenged resource in the context of the educational program; Discuss the challenged item with the individual questioner when appropriate; Prepare a written report. ala.org What Will the Committee Do? After the report is prepared the report will be discussed with the person who requested the material be reconsidered Copies of the report will be given to the appropriate individuals and kept on record The person can then appeal the decision if they want ala.org Example of a Challenge Title: The Adventures of Captain Underpants Author: Dav Pilkey Format: Book Genre: Fiction Interest Level: grades 3-5 Was #9 from 2000-2005 for most frequently challenged books Possible Reasons to Challenge “Hero” is in his underwear Potty type jokes Inappropriate actions Rudeness Disrespect and pranks that the main characters do might cause some parental complaints Another complaint might be that the book contains numerous misspelled words, because the comics are written from a fourth grade student’s perspective. Reason this Book Should Not Be Challenged It is often difficult to get boys to read and this is something they will probably love The humor is on a kid’s level The style is a little like a graphic novel, which is popular The book is interactive It is a great transition between lower level books and larger chapter books Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources The school board of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, has delegated the responsibility for selection and evaluation of library/educational resources to the school library media specialist/curriculum committee, and has established reconsideration procedures to address concerns about those resources. Completion of this form is the first step in those procedures. If you wish to request reconsideration of school or library resources, please return the completed form to the Media Center Coordinator at your school. Name ___SuzyThomas __ Date ___11/3/2010____ School: ____Anyplace Elementary School______ Address ___123 Main Street_____________ City ____Charlotte__ State _____NC___ Zip _____28269_________________ Phone ____704-555-3333____ Do you represent self? _X__ Organization? ____ 1.Resource on which you are commenting: _X___ Book ____ Textbook ____ Video ____ Display ____ Magazine ____ Library Program ____ Audio Recording ____ Newspaper ____ Electronic information/network (please specify) ____ Other __________________________ Title __Captain Underpants___________________ Author/Producer ___Dav Pilkey__________________ 2.What brought this resource to your attention? My son was reading it for pleasure. 3.Have you examined the entire resource? Yes 4.What concerns you about the resource? (use other side or additional pages if necessary) It is inappropriate for my son to read. One of the main characters of the book is in his underwear for much of the book and he is seen as a hero. Also, the boys in the book misbehave and I think that sets a bad example for my son. 1.Are there resource(s) you suggest to provide additional information and/or other viewpoints on this topic? No, I just believe this book is not appropriate for this age level. Signature: ______ Suzy Thomas________________ Reviews of the Book “Another wonderful book by Dav Pilkey! True to form, Captain Underpants taps into the minds of kids and provides good, solid fun. The series combines silly characters with adventure and, of course, potty humor. Perhaps the best feature of any of the Captain Underpants books is their ability to get our kids reading! Granted, the story line is light. But that is just what early readers need to become competent readers; and, what older readers need to relax and just have fun – no different than beach reading for us.” - Dr. Gwenn Should This Book be Banned? This book is a great option for many young readers, especially reluctant male readers. This book should be kept in circulation to be available to children who want to read the book Parents should have the right to limit what their child reads, but they need to monitor what their child is reading Citations ALA. (1998). Workbook for selection policy writing. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/Template.cfm?Section=Dealing_with_Challenges &Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=1 1173#formal ALA. (1999). Strategies and tips for dealing with challenges to library materials. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/challengeslibrarymate rials/copingwithchallenges/strategiestips/index.cfm Library Thing. (2009). The adventures of captain underpants. Retrieved from http://www.librarything.com/work/231513/reviews/ Gwenn. (2009) Book review: Captain underpants series. Retrieved from http://www.pediatricsnow.com/2009/12/book-review-captainunderpants-series/ Pilkey, D. (1997). The adventures of captain underpants. New York: Scholastic.