Another book ban request by B'nai Brith and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center to the Toronto District School Board Part 2

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remind remind's picture
Another book ban request by B'nai Brith and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center to the Toronto District School Board Part 2

continued from here 

...seeing as how the pro-Zionist lobby just won't stop trying to impinge upon others free rights.

Unionist

Calderwood, in the previous thread wrote:
Just out of curiosity how many Darfuri refugees did Canada take in?

If you care (which you appear to), why not get the information and get back to us?

Quote:
Did anyone here advocate on their behalf?

Not me. Were there many refusals by the refugee board? You must have the stats on that?

Quote:
I don't know much about the CJC thing with Darfur other than what I read on their website but at least it does something.

Yeah, to me it reads like the Canadian Catholic Church setting up a fund to provide relief to survivors of Anglican residential schools in New Zealand.

If you don't quite grasp the analogy, let me know and I'll try for a better explanation.

 

 

Jaku

Nice welcome for Calderwood Unionist. I guess we should warn him about your CJC agenda nest time huh?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

1.5 million Palestinians forced into an open sewer, denied food, medicine, clean water and even coloring books, subject to random acts of daily brutality, terrorized from the sky ... in fact they are probably subject to the most barbaric treatment of any people since the 30s, and the Zionists care about Darfur? Really? The Zionist supremacist mind set is so arrogant (I mean it is supreme!) that it believes all that is needed to shift the attention of the "liberals" and the "bleeding hearts" from the crimes against humanity committed by Israeli racists is another cause: Darfur. TADA!

Zionists don't give a shit about Darfur other than as a distraction.

 

Unionist

Jaku wrote:

I guess we should warn him about your CJC agenda nest time huh?

My CJC "agenda" is to ensure that they stop attempting to speak on my behalf. If they called themselves by some truthful name (like, not including the term "Canadian Jewish"), I would treat them with the same benign indifference I give to any irrelevant organization. But as long as they continue to spew lies and champion Israel as a Jewish "homeland" and as a force for good in the world, and do so as the unelected tribune of Canadian Jews, it is my duty to stand up and expose those lies and dissociate my name from them.

No need to do that with B'nai Brith, for example, as they only claim to be the "Sons" of some "Covenant". They're not nearly as dangerous in their own right. In their case, one need only attack Stephen Harper to do them mortal damage.

 

remind remind's picture

Why do they not get this unionist?

Unionist

Because they don't want to.

remind remind's picture

....wanted to chuckle over that response, but could not as the implications of their actions are nothing to laugh about, on any of the several levels of looking at this in a broader way.

pogge

Canwest has now picked up [url=http://www.canada.com/Book+about+Palestinian+girl+causing+controversy+Ca... story[/url]:

Quote:
A children's novel about a Palestinian girl set against the conflict in the Middle East has sparked outrage in Canada's Jewish community - with some school trustees demanding the book be removed from reading lists and libraries.

It's interesting to see the way that B'nai Brith has now become "the Jewish community" and Sheila Ward and one other trustee named in the article (James Pasternak) have become "some trustees."

 

Unionist

And then they drag out this bullshit comment from the Canadian Islamic Congress:

Quote:

Wahida Valiante, president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, said the importance of a book like ``The Shepherd's Granddaughter'' is that it provokes discussion.

``The story of the Palestinian children themselves is not being told in our media,'' said Valiante. ``By banning these books, which contain factual information, I don't think that the Jewish organizations are really doing any favours to themselves.''

... as if the issue of censorship in Canadian schools is a matter of a clash between two religions, instead of a question of fundamental importance for the Canadian people as a whole.

What a shame.

 

 

pogge

[url=http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/education/article/791906--controversi... book on Palestinian-Israeli conflict to remain in Toronto schools[/url]

Quote:
An award-winning book about a Palestinian girl whose family suffers at the hands of Israeli settlers will remain in Toronto schools after a review by board staff found it "does not cross the line into literature promoting hate or animosity towards others."

aka Mycroft

Quote:

 Hello, everyone

I just wanted to share the good news that the Toronto District School Board has decided not to ban The Shepherd's Granddaughter. The letters have clearly had an impact. This is a significant victory. 

Below is the memo the TDSB sent out today. 

MEMORANDUM   
Date  7 April 2010

To Principals and Teacher Librarians
From Melanie Parrack, Executive Superintendent – Student Success
Lloyd McKell, Executive Officer – Student and Community Equity
Subject  The Shepherd’s Granddaughter  

As you may be aware, concerns have been expressed by some individuals and groups to the TDSB about the use of the novel The Shepherd's Granddaughter in our school libraries and classrooms. This book is one of the Red Maple Program selections.  This fictional work sets its narrative within the context of the Middle East conflict. Those concerned about this novel have interpreted its content to be highly one-sided, and communicates an unfairly biased characterization of one specific group of people in relation to the other.  It should be noted, however that other readers have expressed a different opinion about the book, pointing to the fact that The Shepherd’s Granddaughter has received the Canadian Library Association’s, Children’s Book of the Year Award.

One of the goals of the Red Maple Program is to encourage the love of reading and to enhance students’ skills in critical literacy and critical thinking.  We share that goal.  It is important that teachers continue to provide appropriate guidance to students when they read this novel and other similar materials that contain controversial and sensitive issues.

The TDSB document, A Teaching Resource for Dealing with Controversial and Sensitive Issues, in its section “Teaching Strategy”, sets out a clear process for a critical thinking approach for guiding students in dealing with controversial content. It provides the following direction to teachers:

"Students need to:

• identify the nature of bias and the means by which it is developed and revealed
• be alert to biases that are represented or excluded, and explore why these biases exist
• determine whether bias is positive or negative 
• ascertain the appropriate actions or responses to biases detected in any text" 

Teachers are encouraged to use that the above framework (along with the appropriate critical literacy questions) in the process for student preparation prior to reading controversial material, in guiding the reading activity itself, and in guiding student discussion after reading the material.

The Teaching Resource for Dealing with Controversial and Sensitive Issues, is available online at http://www.tdsb. on.ca/_site/ ViewItem. asp?siteid= 15&menuid=8974&pageid=7863.
 

remind remind's picture

excellent news....

Cueball Cueball's picture

Yes, the book can be used to help students learn about bias as an example.

Unionist

Great news, thank you aka M, but oy did you mess up that link - [url=http://www.tdsb.on.ca/_site/ViewItem.asp?siteid=15&menuid=8974&pageid=78... it is again[/url].

... and I guess we should express our appreciation to the TDSB on this occasion for heeding, though perhaps rather grudgingly and circumspectly, the voice of reason and the proper aim of education, and not the brash bullying of the B'nai Brith and their very few allies.

 

aka Mycroft

EXECUTIVE OFFICER, EQUITY, LLOYD MCKELL (TORONTO SCHOOL BOARD):

Quote:

We believe as staff, that the Shepherd's Granddaughter does not cross the line into literature promoting hate or animosity towards others. On the other hand, it has the potential to engage our Grade 7 and 8 students (a critical age for the development of social consciousness about human society) in understanding the complex issues of their world. The Shepherd's Granddaughter contains several themes for creative discussions in our classrooms, such as multigenerational families and relationships, aging; experiencing loss; influences of religion and faith; gender roles, and gender stereotypes, effects of family separation through emigration, the value of education... As well, this book can certainly be used to explore issues of bias and prejudice, and that students can learn from such exploration... Having said that, we acknowledge that guidance from the teachers and teacher librarians is important in producing the desired outcomes described above.

remind remind's picture

was thinking about this last evening, and I can see exactly where perhaps they are going to go with this now....as I personally I do not think they are going to let it go...

There will be outrage that "staff" thinks they can overrule an "elected board". And it will start primarily with the Ovaltine crowd, as I call Canada's version of the US's teabaggers.

 

pogge

[url=http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/education/article/794260--school-boar... board to review controversial book on Israeli-Palestinian conflict - again[/url]

Quote:
Toronto's public school board has launched another investigation into an award-winning novel about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - despite having already reviewed it.

Board staff dealt with a complaint by parent Brian Henry about The Shepherd's Granddaughter, sent by email, but in a somewhat informal manner. They have now been asked to go back and conduct a proper review, as if an official complaint was lodged.

Incidentally, has anyone else noted that Brian Henry, the parent who figures prominently in all of this, is a contributor to the Jewish Tribune? Isn't that the B'nai Brith house organ?

 

al-Qa'bong

Why doesn't B'nai Brith have a good ol' fashioned book burning and make it official?

al-Qa'bong

I wonder if this school board would approve of students reading something like Slavery Ordained of God  to balance the message in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Michelle

No kidding, hey?  Ha!

aka Mycroft

Remove novel on Mideast conflict from elementary schools, trustees say

Quote:
A novel about the Mideast conflict told from a Palestinian girl's point of view should only be available to high school students, say two Toronto trustees.

The Shepherd's Granddaughter is currently part of a province-wide reading program for grades 7 and 8 students but has come under fire from Jewish groups for its portrayal of the struggles of the girl and her family against the brutality of Israeli settlers and soldiers.

Trustees Sheila Ward and Nadia Bello say the book should be removed from elementary schools and that it be dealt with in much the same way as To Kill a Mockingbird.

The Shepherd's Granddaughter "is a well-written book - the author is a really excellent writer, there's no question about that," said Ward. "What I'm saying is this book cannot stand alone without there being a balance on the other side. There has to be information on both sides of this issue."

In their notice of motion that went before the Toronto District School Board Wednesday night, the two say "the complexity of issues raised in To Kill a Mockingbird is, in our opinion, on a par with the complexity of the Palestinian-Israeli difficulties referred to in The Shepherd's Granddaughter.

"We believe age-appropriateness should be Grade 9 to 12 for both books and that The Shepherd's Granddaughter is not appropriate in an elementary school."

Board staff are conducting a formal review of the book, despite having already had a committee of its own educational experts read and examine it after a parent complained.

That first committee decided it "did not cross the line," and deemed it appropriate for grades 7 and 8 students, but issued guidelines to teachers on using the book to encourage discussions of bias and for critical thinking.

The formal review will see another committee that could include informed members of the community, issue a report to the director, who in turn makes a decision.

Ward and Bello are asking that proper process be followed and that the director meet with trustees as soon as the report is complete. The director issues a final decision but the complainant can appeal to trustees if he isn't satisfied.

So apparently Ward, who earlier called for the book to be removed from all school libraries, accusing it of "propagat[ing] hate" before she read it now says it is "a well-written book" comparable to "To Kill a Mockingbird" and only wants to ban it from elementary and middle schools, after having read it.

 

 

Skinny Dipper

I just checked the Microsoft Word Fleisch-Kincaid reading level for sample of The Shepherd's Granddaughter.  I would estimate this text at a grade 4.5 level.  Even when I did my own visual check, I would have to agree with this level.  While the content is geared toward older students, the vocabulary is at the elementary level.  This doesn't mean that the book is not interesting.  I could use this book in special education classes where students require high interest but low reading level texts. (Hi-Lo texts).  However, if most of the students are boys, I would probably not use this book because the main character is female.  This doesn't seem fair.  However, a good educator will find books and topics that interests particular groups of students.  Do I want them engaged in a text that may interest them, or do I want a bunch of screaming boys because they don't care about a particular novel?

Even though this book is written at an elementary school level, I would not have students in grades four or five reading this book. These students haven't learned about the world yet.  The students in these grades start to learn about the different types of governments.  In grade-six, the students in Ontario learn about Canada and its trading partners.  Please note that trading partners can include any country and region--not just the US, Europe, China, and Japan.

If I could, would I let junior students in grades-four to six independently read The Shepherd's Granddaughter?  I would.  However, the boys would have no interest in the style of text and its female lead character--sad, but true.  The girls might be interersted more in books about the Jonas Brothers or Justin Bieber.  When not reading about the J's, they will likely read about fictional girls living in North American communities.

Would I let students in grades-seven and eight independently read the Shepherd's Granddaughter?  Yes, I would.  Even though the novel is easy to read, it is a high interest novel.  The students should have an understanding about the world because they learned about different countries in grade-six social studies.  They should have the ability to think critically about text that mentions other places in the world.  I would like to think that as a teacher, I have prepared students in grade-six to understand that people in the world have other points-of-view than their own.  The students entering the intermediate grades should be prepared deal with a world that is not always nice and agreeable.

Michelle

My son has no problem reading about girls as main characters in a book.  I think it's probably a teacher's job to expand boys' horizons a bit when it comes to reading about women instead of catering to their prejudices.

mahmud

Unionist wrote:

Calderwood, in the previous thread wrote:
Just out of curiosity how many Darfuri refugees did Canada take in?

If you care (which you appear to), why not get the information and get back to us?

Quote:
Did anyone here advocate on their behalf?

Not me. Were there many refusals by the refugee board? You must have the stats on that?

Quote:
I don't know much about the CJC thing with Darfur other than what I read on their website but at least it does something.

Yeah, to me it reads like the Canadian Catholic Church setting up a fund to provide relief to survivors of Anglican residential schools in New Zealand.

If you don't quite grasp the analogy, let me know and I'll try for a better explanation.

 

 

 

"Yeah, to me it reads like the Canadian Catholic Church setting up a fund to provide relief to survivors of Anglican residential schools in New Zealand."

 

Brilliant, unionist. Also funny Thanks for the laugh.

 

Technologically challenged, I couldn't post it on Babble Hall of Fame. I hope someone else will, (please).

Skinny Dipper

I agree, Michelle.  If I am reading books to the whole class, I will select different books that includes both male and female lead characters--not always in the same book.  I do also select books that include characters from different cultural backgrounds.

As for independent reading, while I can have a class discussion about different characters--male or female--students are allowed to choose books to read that interests them.

In a Special Education class where most of the students may be boys, I do try to find the right balance between me reading books that interests the whole class and books that provide character skills such as empathy.  These books may include both male and female lead characters.  In this class, I would provide independent reading books that interests either boys and girls, or both.

When a teacher chooses books for whole-class or independent reading, one must balance the curriculum needs and student interests depending on the class.  I could read Charlotte's Web to a grade-three class.  I could also have the students generate their own questions about chapters in the story.  This way, both boys and girls can participate in discussing the text.  I could also read the same book to a Special Ed. class filled with boys.  I just have to make sure that they are listening while I am reading.  If they are not responding to a particular text, I may need to change later texts that include characters that they like or shorter texts that deal with characters that are not always male (or white).  Again, it's a balancing act when choosing texts.

mahmud

The Zionists dictate to the USA everything from its foreign policies to who can and caanot teach in their universities. Why not introducing their stuff to Canada while the time is ripe ! 

pogge

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/826636--book-should-stay-school-... should stay, school board committee says[/url]

Quote:
A special review committee has recommended that a controversial novel about the Mideast conflict remain available to grades 7 and 8 students in Toronto's public schools.

The 11-member committee was struck in April after a parent made a formal complaint to the Toronto District School Board about The Shepherd's Granddaughter, an award-winning book by Anne Laurel Carter that focuses on the life of a Palestinian farm girl.

 

 

aka Mycroft
pogge

[url=http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/education/article/851521--controversi... book on Mideast conflict to stay in schools[/url]

Quote:
The head of Toronto's public board says he supports keeping a controversial book about a Palestinian farm girl in the city's schools.

Director of Education Chris Spence, in a letter dated Aug. 20 to parent Brian Henry - who complained the award-winning novel The Shepherd's Granddaughter was anti-Israel - says after reading the novel and recommendations from board staff he agrees the book "has the potential to engage our Grade 7 and 8 students . . . in understanding the complex issues of their world."

remind remind's picture

Just excellent news, thank you pogge.

 

I feel like a bigger glimmer of light has happened....