Missouri State business-school professor leads successful campaign to ban Slaughterhouse-Five from local schools


123 Responses to “Missouri State business-school professor leads successful campaign to ban Slaughterhouse-Five from local schools”

  1. Dan Groom says:

    Sometimes Cory, I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion.

  2. Alan says:

    I was recommended Slaughterhouse Five by my high school junior English teacher.  She didn’t use it in her curriculum – it was a small Texas town and she knew better.  But she spotted kids she knew would benefit from it and passed it their way.  I’m grateful, too.  That book opened my eyes to a new way of seeing things.  In fact, the edition I read was that same Dell paperback Cory used in the illustration!

  3. trefecta says:

    “All these people talk so eloquently about getting back to good old-fashioned values….”

  4. mccrum says:

    Yet another book to put on the strategically just-low-enough shelf of Forbidden Books of Mystery that I will use to ensure that my daughter will go out of her way to read them all…

    • knoxblox says:

      Ah, and I thought my dad was the only one to use that tactic.

      • mccrum says:

        Yeah, she’s two and the minute she’s not allowed to look at a book by herself she gets very upset, I see it working like a charm until she’s around 15 or so and starts to catch on but hopefully she’ll have gotten to all the good stuff by then.

  5. knoxblox says:

    “…I don’t think it’s consistent with
    these standards and the kind of message that we want to send,”

    *self-determination facepalm*

    …without much *flair (sorry, Cory).

  6. Virgil McGee says:

    I would have loved a professor that used flares in his classes.

    EDIT: Ruined by Cory’s correction!

  7. fxq says:

    You know what I’ve never seen? Slaughterhouse-Five the movie. I’ve known about it forever, too. Hey! I LOVE THE INTERWEBS!!!


    So anyway, a thought:

    HURRAH for Wesley Scroggins! It’s this kind of stupid public debate that reminds us of the really good books! Some Grandfathers, greatgrandfathers, grandmothers, and greatgrandmothers will read the local news and remember wryly the last time they tried to ban it


    and maybe hop onto Amazon and buy it for their grandkids.

    The blood from senseless acts of censorship is needed to water the tree of Free Speech from time to time.

  8. netdiva says:

    I hope this faculty member does not get his hands on Judy Blume books.  “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” will screw him up.  Ladyparts and biological functions are discussed.

  9. paul beard says:

    Huh. It’s on the going-into-9th grade summer reading list here. I guess we don’t have much in common with Missouri, values-wise. 

    File under: college professors whose lack of understanding of the world makes them unfit for their job. 

  10. Soliloquy says:

    I hope all of the students go out and buy these books on their own, read them, and realize just how stupid Scroggins’ (even his name sounds like a cliche for an evil, crotchety old professor) objections are.

    And I hope Ockler’s sales go through the roof. 

  11. wylkyn says:

    I know it’s cliche, but one could point out that the Bible has such wholesome family content as incest, murder, kidnap & rape, a father offering up his daughter for a gangbang, multiple instances of mass slaughter of helpless people, gratuitous violence & torture, magic & necromancy, as well as some graphic descriptions of nudity. And most of that is portrayed as acceptable, even commendable behavior! The Bible may or may not be available in this school library, but I’m guessing these concerned parents/pillars-of-the-community would not object to their children reading that particular piece of fiction.

    • mccrum says:

      Um, I hate to point out to you that it’s the Bible.  You’re not supposed to read it, you just follow what others say it’s about.

      Reading is hard, that’s why it’s better to just let your elders tell you stories about it!

  12. cellocgw says:

    Maybe they could reinstate SltrHseV if they replaced every cussword with “nigger” (snarky reference to that ultra-bowlderized vsn of Huck Finn that came out recently).

  13. simonbarsinister says:

    This actually doesn’t bother me. The kids will learn what books are on the banned book list. The ones that are curious enough will get a copy of the book at the bookstore or online or through Amazon or a copy from their attic and will enjoy knowing they have pushed past the boundaries set by their narrow minded authority figures.

    • billstewart says:

      The difference is that they’re not just banning it from the school library (so kids could still get it themselves) – they’re taking it out of the curriculum, so the teachers will no longer be telling them what’s going on in the book from a literature standpoint, which is supposed to be part of the value of teaching the book as opposed to just putting it on a reading list.

      And anybody who’s homeschooling their kids doesn’t get to complain that the book contains cussing, because he’s not hearing the language kids are using these days in school, which is probably ruder than it was a few decades ago when I was in junior high (and it was quite rude back then – at least Vonnegut’s characters are probably using language appropriately for their situation.)

    • perizade says:

      I really wish I could believe that. I am a school media specialist, and this just often isn’t true. Kids don’t even have a chance to look at a banned book list, have access to the books, and plenty aren’t motivated to expand their horizons.

  14. IGNTNUNLMTD says:

    This country is literally using religion and personal opinion to make itself more stupid. LET ME OUT OF HERE!

  15. hughstimson says:

    “If you were to bother to read my books, to behave as educated persons would, you would learn that they are not sexy, and do not argue in favor of wildness of any kind. They beg that people be kinder and more responsible than they often are. It is true that some of the characters speak coarsely. That is because people speak coarsely in real life. Especially soldiers and hardworking men speak coarsely, and even our most sheltered children know that. And we all know, too, that those words really don’t damage children much. They didn’t damage us when we were young. It was evil deeds and lying that hurt us.”

    – Kurt Vonnegut, from a letter he wrote to the chairman of the Drake, North Dakota school board in 1973. From “Palm Sunday” chapter 1, “The First Amendment”.

    There’s plenty of great and appropriate material in that chapter, including some satisfying insults that would be appropriate to direct at Mr. Scroggins and the Republic school board.

    • jramboz says:

      Along those same lines, I wonder if Mr. Scroggins, who complains of “too much cussing” has walked down the hall of your average high school lately. It’s been some years since I graduated, but I vividly recall hearing things between classes that would make sailors blush. High school students are no innocent strangers to foul language.

  16. xenphilos says:

    And by banning it, they subsequently made it a must-read for the students. It was the same for my middle school and Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas for its sex scene and my high school and The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier for its masturbation scene.

  17. scott ghelfi says:

    One way to make sure a kid never, ever reads a book, is to put it on the required reading list . . .

  18. Walter Guyll says:

    Education is a pawn of politics and will always be until we maintain a separation between school and state.

    • sisyphus321 says:

      Ok. What do you propose as a replacement for “politics”? I was sent to Catholic elementary and high school (where education was a pawn of religion) and we didn’t have a copy of Slaughter House Five in our library either.

      • Walter Guyll says:

        We can’t remove politics in education until we remove the state monopoly on education. Amazon and other private sources will never run out of Vonnegut.
        Also, schools are a fine place to learn reading. Static curricula are not necessarily the best way to pass on a love of reading.

        • sisyphus321 says:

          Huh? What monopoly? There are such things as private schools, right? I think I went to a couple.

          • Rom says:

            See he doesn’t mean self-funded schools, he meant schools run by corporate interests and given taxpayer money and zero oversight. :P

          • Walter Guyll says:

            If we use taxpayer monies on education let the parent or student decide where to spend it. That’s oversight at it’s most intimate.
            I suspect those fearing a voucher system think people are too stupid to be trusted with educational choice.

          • sisyphus321 says:

            maybe they don’t trust the Invisible Hand to respond adequately to something like education.

          • Walter Guyll says:

            Silly, isn’t it? They trust the market with the food the eat, the medicine they take, the cars they drive at high speed, the elevators they rise 50 stories…

          • sisyphus321 says:

            and they probably wouldn’t have reason to trust the market if contaminated food was regularly sent to market, if the medicine turned out to be snake-oil half the time, if they couldn’t sue car makers for knowingly building dangerous cars, or if the elevators weren’t inspected. You want to see weak government in action? Live in Liberia for a while. Come back and tell me what a great place it is.

          • Walter Guyll says:

            It’s fortunate, and predictable in a free market, that contaminated food is rare, and that one can sue manufacturers for faulty goods. 

            Imagine how much worse it would be if we elected a board to micromanage the whole agricultural and retail process. If politicians decided what food we eat, and where we get it.

            Instead, we occasionally inspect and punish harmful results. This seems to result in better and safer food for more people than at any time in history.

            Education deserves a boost from that invisible hand.

          • sisyphus321 says:

            I think you’re exaggerating. My kids go to public schools, I went to Catholic schools, and I believe my kids are getting a better education than I received. We can both imagine how privatization of public schools would turn out, how it would be better (or worse) than the current situation. But that’s just our collective imagination. I’d rather improve a known quantity than trade it for something that some idealogue believes is better because his prinicples tell him so.

          • Walter Guyll says:

            You are right that we can’t predict how a new system would work. Perhaps if one or two states experiments with vouchers (or some other scheme) we’d have some data.

            My public schooling was in the Sixties and Seventies and hard to compare with today. Kids were processed like tuna. Odd, but I most fondly remember the teachers that made us memorize by rote. I can still recite the prepositions!

            The best part of school was the libraries. I probably read a hundred books outside class for every one assigned. This may make me undervalue what formal education I did get.

            Still, we can do better than sit a kid to a desk for fifty minutes then march him to another room for another fifty minutes of instruction by a shackled teacher. An educational market may not be the ultimate solution but it will find answers that public schools cannot.

          • snowmentality says:

            ….Do you really think that contaminated food is rare because we have a free market and you can sue manufacturers if you get bad food?

            I advise reading some history. Contaminated and adulterated food and drugs were very common in the U.S. before the FDA existed.

          • Walter Guyll says:

            Regulation was and is important in our clean food supply. My point, in response to a thread, was that a free market in education could be trusted with our children, just as we trust it for many more dangerous necessities.
             I would welcome some regulation and governmental oversight for private schools rather than having the State itself run the schools.

          • Walter Guyll says:

            And there should be an analogue to Godwin’s Law; mentioning Liberia or Somalia when railing against libertarians…

          • sisyphus321 says:

            why? Do you have better examples of the libertarian ideal?

          • Walter Guyll says:

            Countries with prosperous residents tend toward, and of course fall far short of, libertarian principles.
            On the other hand if you like how public schools educate you’d love SOVIET RUSSIA!
            BWAA HA HA!

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Godwin’s Law is descriptive, not proscriptive. Pretending that fascism, or Somalia, don’t exist or have lessons for us is the sort of thing that Hitler would think if he were a warlord in Mogadishu.

          • Walter Guyll says:

            Godwin’s Law does acknowledge the existence of Hitler, but it also suggests using him as an insulting reference is the last refuge of an incompetent debater.  

          • sisyphus321 says:

            I don’t think Godwin’s law is so much about the competence of a debator (thanks a lot, by the way), but more about having a sense of proportion. For instance, we could compare Scroggins to Hitler (censorship), but that’s really out of line considering that despite his faults, Scroggins is unlikely to be directly responsible for industrial-scale genocide, violent repression of the citizens or starting a world war. I’ll ask again – do you have a better model of libertarianism than Liberia? And as long as I’m writing about proportion, I still think think your unqualified condemnation of public schools is unwarranted.

          • Walter Guyll says:

            sisyphus321, I’m sorry if I carelessly called you incompetent. I’ve become a bit allergic to every discussion about a libertarian point of view devolves into someone shouting Somalia! Liberia is a somewhat refreshing change.

            Libertarians, as opposed to anarchists, do admit to a strong but limited role for government: protecting one, through law and the courts, from force, fraud and theft. Liberia, with it’s recent history of a military coup and a civil war is not a shining example of libertarianism. Things now seem to be improving there and maybe I should send them a copy of Friedman’s Capitalism And Freedom…

            As to a better model of libertarian life, I’ll say the United States, warts and all. Could be better…
            And I think it is entirely fair to say that there are systemic problems with U.S. public schools and that many of those ills result from them being run by the state. 

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Um, no. It just says that his name will show up eventually.

            Citing Godwin’s Law to silence critics, on the other hand….

          • Walter Guyll says:

            The silencing hasn’t worked anyway so you may have a point.

          • Gyrofrog says:

            Why not? Remember SomaliAnarchy.com, “Defending and Celebrating Somalis’ Freedom and Prosperity”?


            (The “somalianarchy.com” domain is now a placeholder.)

  19. Todd Knarr says:

    I’d note that Mr. Scroggins, as an entrepreneur, has a very strong self-interest here: creative, imaginative people may become entrepreneurs themselves, and in the process create competition for him. They may come up with ways to make things cheaper than him, or come up with products and services that replace his. So he wants as much as possible to insure this doesn’t happen. Creating a generation of workers incapable of genuine entrepreneurship is a good way of doing that.

  20. Phoc Yu says:

    I chose to leave a review of Mr. Scoggins’ only book available on amazon.  Perhaps others may find the link useful.


  21. David Yoon says:

    My Korean mom pronounces “Missouri” like “misery.”

  22. Kevin Pierce says:

    Any Tralfamadorian will tell you that this is how the moment is structured and that you may choose to ignore it.  The books will be back.

  23. dross1260 says:

    It’s all part of the International Human Resource Management plan. duh.

  24. greebo says:

    It’s not the actual book banning that’s worrying. It’s the underlying authoritarianism that’s been busy stamping out any attempt at critical thinking amongst the young. See this great essay, “How the US Crushed Youth Resistance”

  25. Patrick Byrne says:

    So just to put this into context as someone who has lived in MO all his life…

    Republic MO is a crappy little town outside of Springfield MO and is fairly indicative of rural MO thinking.  Basically, “this book makes us think, kids are too stupid to think, don’t let kids have the book, they might hurt themselves”.

    In contrast, the school district that I attended in a suburb of St Louis teaches Slaughter-house Five (along with Fahrenheit-451, the Hobbit, and the Maltese Falcon) as part of a senior sci-fi/fiction course.  Our superintendent is very good about keeping the book burners away.  As an example, age appropriate (based on reading level) copies of the Harry Potter series were placed in each of the school districts libraries during the whole “Harry Potter is teaching our kids dark magic” craze a few years back.

    Missouri is a VERY polarized state.  Its far less Democrat v Republican and much more rural V urban when it comes to political dividing lines.  I live on the edge of the urban/rural divide and have to deal with this sort of stuff every time an election comes around.

    • rattlecan says:

      Patrick- thanks for putting this into a context. Had the same level or rural-vs-urban when I lived in KC for 7 years.

  26. homelesspete says:

    And so it goes.

  27. William Owen says:

    This kind of thing actually makes me very happy to have the job that I have, which is to put books in front of people. To make them available. Because this proves books have power. Scroggins makes total sense to me. He teaches economics, which should be one of the most exciting topics to teach because it is the engine of our entire world, so to teach that poorly I can only assume is because he has built a tiny little world in which he controls all the power, and nothing frightens him more than having something that can take that power away from him. But the thing he HATES, is anything that would dare to just GIVE away power, which is all books do. Books pour power into the world. They are mankind’s way of evolving outside of our bodies, unchained even from our DNA. They have the power to create worlds infinitely larger and richer than anything Wesley Scroggins could ever imagine.

  28. Kimmo says:

    Wesley Scroggins is an absolutely tip-top name for an uptight fuckwad.

  29. AnthonyC says:

    The moment kids go through puberty and become capable of bearing children themselves , they need to learn about sex. To do otherwise, or to mislead them as to how sex works and how to approach it responsibly, is for us as a society to fail a whole generation. Parents clearly aren’t up to the job, and sex-ed, where it still exists and isn’t taught by the PE teacher, is often done in ways that make students laugh rather than think. Moreover, high school kids already know how to curse (hint: they learned from their parents) and what sex is, exposing them to it in good literature won’t harm them.

    Heck, my 11th grade English class read The World According to Garp, and we turned out fine. Admittedly that class was taught by a truly awesome teacher. She chose the book despite the school not liking it (we had to buy our own copies because the school refused to authorize the purchase, or she offered to personally buy it for anyone who couldn’t). When I’d had her previously for a class explicitly designed solely to prepare us for state exams, she freely admitted she felt that that was a stupid idea and we shouldn;’t have to be there.

  30. bruckelsprout says:

    I read “The Crucible” in high school, and I was promptly converted to witchcraft because of it.  If only we hadn’t read it, I wouldn’t have sold my soul to the devil…

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I read “The Crucible” in high school, and I was promptly converted to witchcraft because of it.

      I just made everybody call me Goody Good for a year.

  31. dougr650 says:

    For those interested in constructive rage-venting, here is the e-mail address of the superintendent of Republic, MO who agreed to remove SH5 from their high school bookshelves:
    I’m sure he’d love to hear a diversity of opinions about his absurd practice of just doing whatever some loudmouthed idiot (who also happens to homeschool his kids, he doesn’t even send them to the Republic school system) tells him to do.

  32. anwaya says:

    Listen: Wesley Scroggins has come unstuck in mind.

  33. Ross Payton says:

    The biggest hypocrisy of this banning hasn’t even been mentioned yet. Wesley Scroggins HOMESCHOOLS HIS KIDS. They are NOT ENROLLED IN REPUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL. He is demanding what cannot be taught in a school he is NOT involved in.

    • Kimmo says:

      Beaten by dougr650.

      For those interested in constructive rage-venting, here is the e-mail
      address of the superintendent of Republic, MO who agreed to remove SH5
      from their high school bookshelves:
      sure he’d love to hear a diversity of opinions about his absurd
      practice of just doing whatever some loudmouthed idiot (who also happens
      to homeschool his kids
      , he doesn’t even send them to the Republic
      school system) tells him to do.

  34. My twelve-year-old read it this past school year and wrote a book report on it. The decision to let him read it was that of my husband and myself. Just the way it should be. No complaints from his middle school, and he’s seems fine.  No ill effects.  Hmmm, I guess reading it didn’t ruin him. (Psst, he read Breakfast of Champions, too.  Oooooo.)

  35. Kimmo says:

    Selling point.

  36. Joshua Zelinsky says:

    I’ve generally found Vonnegut to be overrated. But that’s not a reason to ban a book. Seriously, this is so stupid and wrong I don’t know how to describe how wrong this is. 

    Unfortunately, I’m not that surprised that this sort of attitude would come from a business-school professor. A large fraction of the people who work at business schools lack the intellectualism generally found in academia. Most academics would consider censorship to be a terrible thing. Business-school people often have a different set of values than the actual academics. This isn’t universally true, but it does seem to be a disturbingly common problem.

  37. Curtis Goodman says:

    makes sense to me why they are scared of it, I grew up in a small Oregon town that was until the mid 90′s the sight of the “most churches per capita” in the US. Not much room for deviation in my upbringing. If it hadn’t been for my high school English teacher introducing me to Slaughter-House Five and A Scanner Darkly (which set me off on a course of consuming all Vonnegut and PKD I could get my hands on) as well as insisting I borrow her copy of Brazil (which to this day remains my favorite film, largely due to the roll it played in my big mental wake up) I seriously wonder if I would have ever learned to really think crittically about information that is fed to me as “fact”.

  38. Arty_Deco says:

    BTW – He home schools his kids.  That = born again christian nutjob who is almost one hundred percent assuredly teaching his dimwitted offspring that evolution is the work of the devil. 

    • Popgun Chaos says:

      You beat me to it by a second!

    • perizade says:

      Please don’t slam the poor kids who have no control over this. I know some adults who were homeschooled evangelical style, and they worked hard to overcome the hardships their parents put on them.

    • sighthndman says:

      Whoa, I don’t know how your figure that.  I homeschooled mine so they could read more, write more, progress in math and science without waiting for the rest of the class to catch up, but mostly because (short version) the teachers are idiots.  Got nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with education.

  39. Popgun Chaos says:

    It should further be noted that Scroggins home schools his children – so the books he deems offensive aren’t even being taught to his kids.

  40. MollyMaguire says:

    Man, that Scroggins is a stuppa.

  41. nosehat says:

    I think the English professors at Missouri State should start arbitrarily banning economics and business books from the local high school curriculum.

    That would make sense, right?

  42. Buddy Bradley says:

    Wasn’t Slaughterhouse Five banned in a town in the movie “Footloose”? Maybe this Scroggins guy is just a John Lithgow fan.

  43. angusm says:

    The least we can do in return is to ensure that ‘Scroggins’ becomes a part of the language. 

    “I’d hoped to teach that book this year, but it’s been scrogginsed.”

    “What can I say? Some scroggins ruined it for everyone as usual.”

    “Dude, what the fuck? When did you start acting so scrogginsy?”

    If Anthony Comstock and Thomas Bowdler can get their own verbal monuments, Mr Scroggins deserves no less.

    • Joshua Zelinsky says:

      There’s a point where someone is enough of a problem to deserve that response. This fellow isn’t at that level. He’s small fry in a little town. 

  44. Totally says:

    I get that this kind of book banning is bad and the school board is a bunch of limpdicks. But, it is really a practical non-event. Either buy the books or check them out at the Public Library. Access to the books solved. Vote the damned board out of office … political problem solved. There, I fixed it for you. You’re welcome.

    • Talia says:

      It is an event. It’s the principle of the thing, which is totally appalling. You have to speak up about this sort of nonsense, otherwise these SOBs will think it’s ok.

  45. Rom says:

    They’ve banned books in my town, nobody gives a shit. Although everyone did notice when they banned Inconvenient Truth. The head of the school board during that fracas is now a judge. Most of the rest are still on the board.

  46. Teller says:

    I’m with whomever said banning a book will assure reading. And anything that gets teens to read something other than text messages is a good thing. Wesley’s a genius.

  47. Matt Fisher says:

    Didn’t this guy get the memo that anybody who has ever attempted to ban a book is automatically a world class douchebag?

  48. saynova says:

    I hope the teachers focus their efforts on teaching Fahrenheit 451.  I wish I was teaching in that district just to have the students debate the issue of censorship while reading Bradbury.  Students generally know this type of censorship is wrong and insulting to their intelligence. 

  49. Jeanie Mae says:

    Hmm.. when “The Giver” was banned from my brother’s 8th grade curriculum (we both attended a private Lutheran school and some parents had objected), I had my mom take me to the library so that I could check out the book and read it.

    So, my hope is that by banning these books, it will make them ever more desirable to students. Also, remember the South Park episode about The Catcher in the Rye?

  50. Guest says:

    People should voice their disapproval directly to the school district he teaches in and his kids attend  as well.

    Conveniently enough, if you search at whitepages.com there’s only one Wesley Scroggins in all of Missouri: Wesley A Scroggins of Republic, MO.

  51. thorn says:

    It’s part of the Illinois-Kansas “keep Missouri stupid”/keep-the-good-jobs-for-ourselves-plot. You go, Prof. Scroggins! 

    By the way, how much are we IL/KS taxpayers paying you to build MO’s future as ‘clerk/typist supplier to the world’?

  52. nosehat says:

    Here is his listing on Rate My Professors.  You know, if any of you happen to be former students of his, you could always leave a review.

  53. jccalhoun says:

    What is it about business schools that make them havens for right-wing conservative religious kooks? There’s one here in the business school at my college who posted all sorts of anti-gay stuff on his university-hosted website a few years ago.

  54. fnc says:

    These actions don’t really accomplish any of the things that the censors think they do (kids will swear and fuck regardless of their environment) but they still serve a useful purpose, letting the rebellious but academically inclined kids can find lots of stuff that might interest them compiled into a single list. The most affecting book I read in high school wasn’t on any list (required or banned), but recommended to me by a science teacher who actually taught a lot more than science.

  55. Ryan Lenethen says:

    To be fair they were going to ban Fahrenheit 451, but that was too obviously ironic even by
    Missouri standards.

    Banning a book of a guy who uncontrollably travels back and forth in time to the fire bombing of Dresden during WW2, one of the US’s worst holocausts makes much more sense.

    Personally I don’t remember too much cussing, but then again I might have been distracted by some of those other little things going on in the book.

    If I have learned anything from Xbox Live, its that the younger generation of today is very well mannered, and genial, and we have to do whatever it costs to keep cussing from entering in their vocabulary. Think of the children!

  56. Mike Greco says:

    Whenever I see stupid shit like this, I think everyone who’s got a copy of the book(s) in question sitting on their bookshelf, should pick a home address in the area (Republic MO in this case) and mail your previously-read copy of the book to them.

  57. Scot Gresham-Lancaster says:

    May I suggest taking a minute to help school this poor soul in the meaning of freedom and liberty. I did … Here is his information:

    I have refrained from calling him a fascist … and though it is maybe true, it is not productive to identify him in this way. The frame needs to be changed …He seems himself as a “child of God” and simply needs to understand that his God is actually benevolent and merciful and loves freedom of expression, rich ideas and dialog. Dr. Scroggins is forgiven, but he needs to stop his transgressions before his Almighty.That is something he will understand, I think. Self righteousness and righteousness are two separate things and needs our compassionate guidance to help them find that they are helping no one and committing the sin of Pride in my opinion.

    • I would ask that you not send a bunch of e-mails to him. That’s the e-mail his students send things to as well and it makes it harder for them to get through to their professor, no matter how much of a jackass he is. It’s hard enough sometimes to keep up with student e-mails, and I only teach two classes.

      If you really feel motivated, you could always send any sort of cash or gift cards to the English Department GA’s. I know we’d really appreciate anything that would allow us to eat more. :P

  58. I emailed Mr. Scroggins directly.

  59. Thad Boyd says:


  60. The worst part is that Dr. Scroggins hasn’t really read the books. I’ve read his official complaint and what he claims is in these books is simply not, except for the swearing. For complaining about books being anti-religious, he never picked up on any of it in Slaughterhouse 5.

    Then again, as an example of just how bad this region is, I got hate mail for leading a protest against this jackass on campus. So, with my full name plastered all over the local newspaper, the author misspelled my first name. And not just spelling it Geoff. Link if you want to read the letter: http://blagotube.onehourparkingshow.com/?p=1225

    Also; as somebody else working at the university, please refrain from sending e-mails to Scroggin’s university e-mail account. He may be an overbearing jackass, but it’s not fair to his students.Sometimes it’s hard enough to keep up with important student and university e-mails. If it wasn’t because of the students I’d have no qualms about it at all.

  61. digibruce says:

    “Scroggins apparently wants to raise a generation of local children who never meet a challenging idea or experience an uncomfortable discussion.  As an actual entrepreneur (and not just someone who researches entrepreneurship), I’m here to tell you that this is not how you teach people the imagination and creativity necessary to the process”

    Cory, have you ever worked at a conventional business with an HR department? Because HR departments want to product ADULTS from any challenging ideas or experiences or uncomfortable discussions. So it’s not surprising a business professor thinks this is a good idea for kids.

  62. Kirk Kittell says:

    First thing that came to mind as a response:

    “Go take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut,” murmured Paul Lazzaro in his azure nest. “Go take a flying fuck at the moon.”

  63. jccalhoun says:

    Don’t bother emailing this guy. Look at the date of the story:Sep. 17, 2010. So this is old news and little can be done by complaining to the guy nearly a year later.

  64. knoxblox says:

    I would like to utilize this post to give a posthumous shout-out to my kindergarten teacher, Miss March, who once taught at L’Ouverture Elementary in Wichita, KS.
    The woman taught me to read at the age of four, and I will always love her for it, because she also encouraged me to read whatever I could get my hands on.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      And a shout out to Mrs Long, who handed me Out of the Closets: Voices of Gay Liberation in a high school English class in 1973.

  65. Aaron Tye says:

    meh. anyone who bans that book will burn in hell anyway. i don’t worship the government and i’m not sorry.

  66. Jeffrey Wu says:

    Well thank you boing boing and amazon for facilitating an improptu buy. I now have an copy of 20 Boy Summer. It was 4 bucks. Course, now I need to get to reading it. 

    Also I read “Speak” in my high school, possibly the more disturbing book I’ve read at that point in my life. 

  67. Lodewijk Gonggrijp says:

    The banning of Slaughterhouse-Five upsets me so much I almost posted something which would probably get me perma-banned instantly. Use your imagination to fill in the dots.

  68. phuzz says:

    Perhaps we need a centralised list of books that have been banned in schools, we could call it “Recommended Reading”.

  69. Moe Hong says:

    Let’s buy a copy of Slaughterhouse Five for every single kid at the high school: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Buy-copies-of-Slaughterhouse-Five-for-students-in-Republic-MO/264339346913371

    • Chris Roberts says:

      I live thirty minutes from Republic and did not know this was going on.  A little decent news coverage could have prevented this.

  70. Chris Roberts says:

    I live thirty minutes from Republic and did not know this was going on.  A little decent news coverage could have prevented this.

  71. Jay Diamond says:

    wow now i need to read those books :D 

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