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When Books Are Banned, Education Is Impoverished


David Wippman
David Wippman

“Presenting the past or the present only and always in a favorable light does an enormous disservice to students, teachers, and the truth,” writes President David Wippman, co-author of “When books are banned, 'education is impoverished, and everyone loses'" in The Hechinger Report. Subtitled “During banned book week, free speech and academic freedom are endangered,” the essay appeared on Sept. 28.

Wippman and his co-author, Cornell Professor Glenn Altschuler, review America’s “long and inglorious history” of book-banning  going back to the 1600s, “when books deemed offensive to Christianity were publicly burned.” They discuss the ongoing campaign by state and local officials around the country to dictate how educators and students address race, history, and social justice.

“Teachers should be able to exercise their professional judgment on how best to present challenging material, without fearing that open discussion will endanger their jobs or lead to civil or criminal penalties,” the authors affirm.

The op-ed also appeared on the History News Network site on Oct. 1.

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