Thursday, June 12, 2003

Forbidden reading on the North Shore. It can't happen here? Oh, yes it can -- and does. Leonard Broughton, principal of the Masconomet Regional Middle School, which serves the well-to-do towns of Topsfield, Boxford, and Middleton, has decided to remove two gay-theme books aimed at young people from the school's summer reading list.

"We don't [believe in] teaching values," Broughton told Ben Casselman of the Salem News. "When it comes to these kinds of value decisions, they are up to the individuals and their families."

Did it ever occur to Broughton that by engaging in such puerile censorship, he's condoning a particularly harmful sort of values education?

The books in question -- Nancy Garden's Annie on My Mind and Marilyn Reynolds's Love Rules -- are said to be aimed specifically at teenagers, which makes Broughton's decision all the more inexplicable.

The Salem News website is an enigma, but if you click here, you should be able to read the story until sometime this afternoon. After that, try this.

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