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Suit to Control Pupils' Reading

November 07, 1986

My first reactions upon reading about the fundamentalist Christian families who objected to their children reading various literary works and fairy tales in school were a mixture of amusement, understanding, and sadness. Amusement because the works mentioned are considered by most Americans as innocuous at worst and worthwhile and educational at best.

As a rebellious teen-ager I recall telling my father that if everyone's actions and beliefs were limited to those of their parents we would still be living in caves. As an adult and a parent I realize that most of us, even those of us who want our children to learn as much as possible about the world and its people, ideas and beliefs, really hope that in the end our children will come to appreciate, value and follow our beliefs.

We all feel a sense of loss if our children reject our way of life and because of this I felt sadness and sympathy for these parents and understanding of their plight. But as I would not cripple a child's body in order to keep him close to me, neither would I cripple his mind for the same purpose.

My second reaction was fear because I believe that it is people like these whose own fear of ways different from theirs leads them to support leaders who suppress and eventually destroy the freedoms of those who do not subscribe to their beliefs.

ELAINE HAMILTON

Pasadena

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