Sodus Board of Education Unanimously Defeats Attempt to Ban Morrison Novel
At the February meeting, WARE members were apprised of an attempt in the Sodus School District to ban a novel by Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye. This was unanimously defeated by the BOE. WARE members present at our monthly meeting requested that we make a response and thank the schoolboard members. This letter was sent to the press and to the Superintendent of Schools, Nelson Kise.
The following is the letter written by WARE member, John L. Ghertner:
February 9, 2022
An open letter to the Sodus School District Board of Education,
At the January 2022 school board meeting, you boldly and unanimously took the position that a novel about racism, incest, and body image by Toni Morrison is an important teaching tool for students. This was in response to some community members having asked that “The Bluest Eye” be banned from the Sodus School library and curriculum.
Wayne Action for Racial Equality stands strongly behind the Sodus School District Board of Education and appreciates the difficulty in making this highly charged decision. We know full well that lessons about these subjects are vital to our children’s understanding of the world around them, of the pressures that they may personally experience, and of the importance of seeing others as whole beings.
Members of WARE are prepared to support any decisions in any school district that provide for the educational needs of our communities’ children. This book in question has seen multiple attempts to prevent its use in schools across the country and the request for book banning will continue as it has for the history of the printed word. As one student stated recently in the Northville, MI school board hearing during a failed attempt to ban this same book, “The purpose of AP literature as a class is to expand our understanding and enlarge our world, not make us more comfortable inside boxes of ignorance.”
John L. Ghertner, MD
For Wayne Action for Racial Equality