The Matanuska-Susitna borough school district in Alaska has reversed a ban on several classic literary works including The Great Gatsby after a protest effort conducted by local parents. The school board voted in April to ban several books from the curriculum that they deemed inappropriate for students.
According to a report by the Guardian, an Alaskan school district has reversed a decision to ban several classic literary works after locals mounted a protest. Some locals even offered students money and free food if they opted to read the banned books on their own.
Breitbart News reported in April that the Matanuska-Susitna school district had banned several books that the deemed too controversial for students. The banned book list included The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, and Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. The school board claimed that the books were removed because they contained depictions of sex, racism, and misogyny.
Locals organized a protest to fight back against the university’s decision. At one protest event, a high school student reportedly said that “to be told that we’re not mature enough to read these books or we need to be protected is kind of annoying.”
Despite the controversy, school board members argue that the books were never banned. Board member Ryan Ponder, the only board member to vote against reversing the April decision, told CNN that the books were removed from the curriculum but not the school libraries.
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