HALSEY, Ore. -- A book of cartoons featuring rabbits that commit suicide in various ways will remain in the Central Linn High School library, school board members said Monday.
"The Book of Bunny Suicides," by British humorist Andy Riley, follows 100 rabbits as they search for new ways to commit suicide. It has been the focus point of a long-running debate among the school board members since October, when parent Taffey Anderson threatened to burn the book after her 13-year-old son brought it home from school.
Shouldn't the school board members be allowed to decide which books are to be made available in the school library? Would determining that something is not appropriate be tantamount to book banning?
In this particular case, the ACLU of Oregon issued a "warning that removing the book could violate the First Amendment." But would it really? Isn't it up the school board?
Does the book, which is so offensive to some parents that one of them threatened to "burn" it, really pose a danger for high school kids? Is it possible that some depressed kids who get their hands on this "Rabbit" book will suddenly be inspired to actually take their own lives?
What about other books which may be deemed offensive? The school board decided after much debate to keep "The Book of Bunny Suicides," but would they feel that way about, say, a book called, "How to Build a Bomb Using Fertilizer," or "The Dos and Don'ts of School Shootings?" Should books like that be kept in the high school library? And if not, would that represent a violation of the First Amendment?
When we talked about this before, one interesting thing that came up was that some books "advocate homosexuality," and may be dangerous for young people. What do you think about that? Do we have to have those in the high school library in order to not violate the First Amendment?
What's your opinion? Is it OK for teenagers to read the "Bunny" book? Is there any point of trying to shield kids from offensive material? Who has the authority to decide what is offensive? And besides, isn't it all available on the internet nowadays?
Please tell us what you think.