I spent a large portion of my first two years of high school around the remote shelves of the school library. These were the shelves that most kids, I imagined, never even knew existed, the ones tucked in the back containing bleak British plays and old film reviews from the New York Times.
I had a thirst for knowledge back then, especially if it required digging. However, I never had to scratch to get my hands on a banned book, or even a book that I needed a parent signature to read. The latter, though, is now the case in the Ocean View School District, which put a restriction on Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” after an uproar last year.
That uproar was spearheaded by former Westminster School District Trustee Judy Ahrens and Ocean View Trustee John Briscoe, who urged the district to remove the book from school library shelves. They argued that Angelou’s autobiography, which contains an explicit rape scene and themes of teen sexuality and pregnancy, was too raw for middle-school minds.