Public school teachers who hope to defend themselves by invoking academic freedom will not prevail (“The Fight Over ‘Maus’ Is Part of a Bigger Cultural Battle in Tennessee,” The New York Times, Mar. 5). The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals made that clear in 2010 by ruling that only school boards can determine the curriculum. In short, school districts hire teacher speech.
It matters little what the issue is. In Tennessee, the battle is over use of the novel “Maus” about the Holocaust. The use of certain words and nudity unfortunately mean the book will never be allowed, even though it won a Pulitzer Prize. The losers in the final analysis are eighth-grade students who are far more sophisticated than believed by many.
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