Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Latest from Howell Schools

The fight over the books in Howell Schools (mostly found at Board member Wendy Day's Blog) has taken another twist. Vicki Fyke, leader of the LOVE Group, has asked Prosecutor David Morse investigate whether the law was broken.

From the Argus

Prosecutors still have not responded to Vicki Fyke's initial allegations that the Howell school system's use of several controversial books in a high school class may violate state laws against the distribution of pornography to minors, and now Fyke and her group are raising additional issues about the texts.
Fyke and the Livingston Organization for Values in Education have asked Livingston County Prosecutor David Morse to look into more aspects of the books' assignments in the high school, including whether support staffers — bus drivers or janitors, for example — could be breaking any laws if they give the books to students.

"It's very possible that a student might leave a book on a bus, and they might pick it up and hand it back," Fyke said. "They're actually passing out stuff that no other person could."

Fyke has also asked Morse to see whether any laws on racial slurs or violent material may apply.


I'm glad to hear that Dave Morse is reading the books in question before making a prosecuting decision.

There are five possible scenarios that may happen here.
1. No laws were violated.
2. There's a grey area, and Mr. Morse decides to prosecute.
3. There's a grey area, and Mr. Morse declines to prosecute.
4. Laws were violated, and Mr. Morse decides to prosecute.
5. Laws were violated, and Mr. Morse declines to prosecute.

I'm going to do some digging on any precedent, if there is any. There are two aspects to look at here. The first is statutes. The second is any previous court cases. Criminal law is traditionally narrowly defined. We'll see what happens here.

14 comments:

Republican=Conservative said...

Why should Howell Public Schools ban the book? This violates the 1st Amendment; freedom of speech. However I do agree that the book should not be a required reading. The book should simply be in the library.

Page Field said...

I was angry early what the LOVE group is doing in the Howell community.

Now I'm happy they (LOVE) can actually be put on trial. Unfortunately there won't be. This is so silly.

DID YOU KNOW: That MSU and UofM have requirements for AP reading booklist at the high school level. All the pornographic material the LOVE group wants to omit is required reading for admission to MSU and UofM.. So perhaps the LOVE group can sue the the colleges too. In no short order the LOVE group could be making entry into MSU and UofM harder.

Every community has gadflys but this cluster in Howell is a cancer. I love gadflys, they serve a purpose in communties because they keep elected officials honest.

But this group is closer to freakish to the point they're entertainment.

They are a vocal minority that is not grounded, thus they become entertainment.

Republican=Conservative said...

I am normaly happy with what the LOVE group does, but this is completly absured, especially if what page field says is true.

defendthegop.blogspot.com

Republican Michigander said...

Page Field:

Do you have a list or know where I can find one for the AP Required reading? I checked the MSU site and didn't find a list. I'm a Spartan Alum, but wasn't AP (and I was accepted to State from HS 10 years ago).

Patrick Flynn said...

Wow Page. What an ugly testimony. You might be the exception, but most people who support exposure to pornography among especially our youth are attempting to normalize and rationalize the guilt of their own personal porn habits.

Is that the case with you? Or, are you just plain morally bankrupt.

What a pathetic shame.

Page Field said...

It simple issue the books are not pornographic. The LOVE group should back away from this one because it makes the group look silly. An when there are bigger issues to focus on.

Reading list issue-
I was told by a school offical that UofM and MSU have recommending reading lists that AP High School students should be tackling if they are to apply to Uof M or MSU. I can go back to this person and ask how do I find this college list. Its a credible source. If my source is correct than one would think many other high schools have the same books on their lists.?What about Brighton? Hartland?...

Pogo said...

Page,

How come in your first post you said the books are required reading at UM and State and in the second post you said it is only on a recommended reading list? There is a BIG difference between required and recommended, as required implies that it is a prequisite for admission while recommended only implies it is one of many factors considered as part of an overall package.

If our Universities wish to require or recommend these books to new students, certainly there should be written proof available, either from the admissions office or from their website.

And Republican=conservative, it has long been understood in law that underage citizens can have "rights" restricted. It is appropriate to prohibit future citizens from seeing certain movies, reading certain books, from voting, from drinking, from buying guns, etc . . . and courts have long upheld these restrictions. If a high school student gets caught with a Playboy magazine the magazine is certainly confiscated with the possibility of disciplinary action against the student.

So there never has been a question as to whether the material can be restricted, the question is whether the material in question should be restricted.

Pogo said...

Page Field,

We hear an almost daily mantra from newspapers, teachers, and school administrators that parents need to get more involved in schools and with their children's education.

So how come when a group of parents does take an active interest, you use words like "freakish" and "cancer" to describe them? Is it that parents should only show up at school to listen and obey teachers while never questioning? Even if there is disagreement on this specific issue, I think these parents should be applauded for taking an active interest in what goes on at school, not insulted.

Page Field said...

Because the material is not pornographical. The fact the LOVE group thought the problematic books contain earth shattering graphic porn is what paints this group as FREAKS.

Don't get me wrong, I love parent participation but this is crazy.

Page Field said...

People, Parents, Poodles, should all get involved in our schools. Just don't micromanage.

Republican=Conservative said...

It is not about if the books in question have phornagraphy or not, it's about whether or not parents can question the school system.

I don't agree with the LOVE group on this issue, but do I want them to stop? No because of one thing, the 1st Amendment!!

Curley Sue said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Republican Michigander said...

Curley Sue and all - Fair Warning - I'm going to be real quick with the delete button if certain "descriptions" any of the books are posted here. I deleted your post due to graphic nature. I don't want it on this site, no matter how well intentioned the reason. You can describe the scene by saying that it is too offensive for this website.

openyoureyes said...

Page field is not accurate when she reports that LOVE wants the books banned, never did the group say banned. The books that are causing concern were required reading of 10th grade accelerated english students UNTIL students said they found them offensive, and then they were offered a different book to read. However, the book they found offensive was still going to be discussed by the whole class, except those that opted out, during class time, so really how it that an opt out opportunity? LOVE said repeatedly, the opt out, and curriculum approval process is broken. I believe at least 10 teachers on the committee said they never read the books they just rubber stamped approved them for their peers. Now having read them, they would not approve them again!
LOVE wants the books off the list, let the students read them at home, in the library where ever they like, except don't allow these books in our public schools.
Everyday parents and teachers "censor" what students are exposed to, this is no different. Garbage in, garbage out.