On Monday, the school board of Republic, Mo., voted to end the ban of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut from the school library, but the repeal doesn't go far enough for the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, which noted that rather than return the book to the library, students have to go get the novel from a set location.
“I was thrilled to see the headline that suggested the school board ended the ban of these books, although their action didn’t really end the ban,” said Julia Whitehead, executive director of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. “What they’re doing is making books available to students only if parents or guardians physically come to the school library to check out the books. The books are otherwise being held in a “secure location” within the library, where students cannot access them. These barriers are tantamount to the banning of books and are clearly inconsistent with our democratic freedoms and the free flow of ideas represented by the First Amendment.” The Vonnegut Library said that it will continue to offer one free copy of Slaughterhouse-Five to students at Republic High School.
The Vonnegut Library also announced that its participation for Banned Book Week will include a presentation by Sarah Ockler, the other author whose book (Twenty Boy Summer) was banned at Republic High. Additional programs sponsored during Banned Book Week can be found at www.vonnegutlibrary.org. Students and parents from Republic High School can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a free copy of Slaughterhouse-Five.