Pat Conroy’s Response to Censorship

Pat Conroy, the author of The Prince of Tides: A Novel, recently discovered (EDIT:  Apparently this is from 2007) that a group of parents in West Virginia are attempting to ban the teaching of two of his novels. He wrote an amazing letter to the Editor of the Charleston Gazette. The letter sings the praises of English teachers and is a MUST READ!

 I have yet to meet an English teacher who assigned a book to damage a kid. They take an unutterable joy in opening up the known world to their students, but they are dishonored and unpraised because of the scandalous paychecks they receive. In my travels around this country, I have discovered that America hates its teachers, and I could not tell you why.

Continue reading the letter here.

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5 Responses

  1. Thanks for pointing this out. What an amazing letter!! But this happened in 2007, didn’t it?

  2. I live in Wheeling, WV (Northern Panhandle), so when I saw WV I was interested. I loved Pat’s letter. It was amazing. I am an English teacher and have yet to have any parents question the books I teach but have had to fight to teach The Giver at one of the schools. I was basically told that I was on my own if the school received any complaints. No complaints and it was some of my students favorite book that year.

  3. I loved that letter so much when I read it that I actually saved it to use with kids someday. I’d kind of forgotten about it until now, but I love it just as much after rereading. Thank you!

  4. I also just discovered that this situation had occurred in 2007. I am sickened, but not at all surprised. I am beginning my 2nd yearof teaching in WV. I have experienced attempted censorship since the first few years, and my friend who currently teaches English in another county is still fighting the fight.

  5. OOps, that was supposed to say that it is my TWENTY-SECOND year in education.

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