Keeping things together
December 6, 2012
Monday night’s discussion of the novel, “Things Fall Apart,” shows how we as a community keep things together.
The novel, taught in Douglas County’s sophomore English classes, is set in 1800s colonial Africa and discusses the changes caused by Europeans from a native standpoint.
A parent of one of those sophomores challenged the book’s use in the curriculum after reading a synopsis.
On Monday night, she told members of a panel convened to discuss the book’s use that after reading all of it, it wasn’t as bad as she originally thought. She still didn’t agree with parts of it.
We hold up the discussion itself as an example of how people and their government should work.
There was no bad guy, no name calling. It was a discussion on the merits of the book and the complaint. It was the sort of civil discourse we wish would spread to higher places in our government.
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In a world where shooting zombies in the head is entertainment and debate consists of people yelling invectives, “Things Fall Apart,” is kind of quaint.
That doesn’t mean that Granite Way resident Luanne Toskin was wrong to challenge the novel, nor does it mean that a review committee was wrong to reject the challenge.
What it means is that people came together to discuss their differences.
The lesson we take away from the challenge of “Things Fall Apart,” is how we prevent them from doing just that.