I love living in Maine, and love the responsiveness of the powers that be to problems in our communities, but I was horrified to see School Administrative District 11 changing curriculum in response to misinformation being disseminated nationwide “Gardiner area community in uproar over AP summer reading book list” (June 18).

Being born and raised in Georgia in the 1950s and ’60s means I was raised during segregation. I have witnessed discrimination as a woman, an Hispanic child’s mother, and a black child’s foster mother.

College English is not about rote teaching of literature and grammar. It’s about spurring students on to making their own conclusions. I, as a student, read many boring essays and books. But today I use that information in my genealogy — the reason I now live in Maine, the first home of my dad’s family.

My mother’s mother’s family were slave owners. My fourth great-grandfather owned over a 100 slaves; my second great-grandfather still owned a few slaves at the outbreak of the Civil War. Yet I was raised to believe all are equal; I never heard the “n” word ever in my family. My mother was thrilled at the result of Brown v. Board of Education. My New Jersey family were appalled.

These memories are part of me — my suppression of this has not bettered me. Open discussion of our past history is simply a necessity. One of the best venues is in an educational setting where students are allowed to choose, for example, among 33 books.

The students in SAD 11 will still have that ability to learn but not in as rigorous an educational format as intended. I am disappointed that a few uneducated folks’ opinions now direct a class. This is called censorship and has absolutely no place in education in one of the least discriminatory states in this country.


Delia Wilson Lunsford


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