Thursday, July 13, 2006

Un-PC comment

I'll fully admit this is an un-PC post, and I should be ashamed of myself, but when I read,

The Legal Assistance Corporation and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, charging that the Worcester Public Library is unfairly restricting the borrowing privileges of residents who live in homeless shelters.

Identified as “Jane Doe,” the lead plaintiff in the case maintains that she is being allowed to check out no more that two books at a time, making her unable to homeschool her child. The lawsuit claims the library policy is unconstitutional. “Everybody should have equal access to a public library, regardless of whether they’re homeless,” Legal Assistance Corporation Executive Director Jonathan Mannina told the Associated Press July 6.

--From Homeless Residents Sue Worcester Library over Borrowing Restrictions

I could only think:

How can you home school a child when you're homeless? Doesn't that automatically disqualify you? And considering your circumstances are you REALLY the best teacher for your child?

I know. I'm terrible. But really...


Anonymous danceswithbooks said...

Try not to be too ashamed. Now and then I wish that people would say more of the "un-PC" things as you label them. What is un-PC to the crowd is forgetting the fact that the library is taking measures to solve a problem of materials not being returned. They know who exactly is causing the problems. Many other libraries would do the same to other patrons, but since these are homeless, all of a sudden, the PC crowd is up in arms. I usually believe in the ACLU and others who provide legal assistance for those who could not sue otherwise, but I can't help but wonder over this one. Now, that is un-PC.

6:04 PM, July 13, 2006  
Blogger Happy Villain said...

At least I can say that with a public library, you have to have a residence that you can prove you dwell in and that your taxes go to us, because if you're not in our district or if you're unincorporated and have no library tax withdrawn from property tax where you dwell, then you have to BUY a library membership. That's usually quite expensive and only good for one year.

I'm with you on the homeschooling. Would you then call it boxschooling? Or is that too insensitive?

12:09 AM, July 14, 2006  
Blogger Spike said...

Vamp said: How can you home school a child when you're homeless?

Danceswithbooks said: the library is taking measures to solve a problem of materials not being returned.

Yers. It all sounds somewhat suss. A beat-up on a slow news day perhaps.

4:03 AM, July 14, 2006  
Blogger Julie said...

You go and be un-PC. I live in Massachusetts but grew up in Indiana, and find the whole state overly litigious and just plain whiny. The taxpayers should see how they feel when they're the ones paying for all of the books that go missing from people without permanent addresses.

7:13 AM, July 14, 2006  
Blogger tiny robot said...

Wait, what? You mean books cost money?!

(In case you couldn't tell, that statement is dripping with sarcasm. And, VL, don't feel bad for saying what you think.)

9:12 AM, July 17, 2006  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

Thanks everybody. My co-vampire Laura said I was "AWFUL!" for saying that. Now I know she's just a goody goody.

Or all of you are really cynical just like me.

8:11 PM, July 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I'm cynical, but I have to wonder: is it really so difficult to homeschool a child with only two library books at a time? Especially since there's nothing stopping her from returning the books for different ones each day, or even taking her child to the library to learn.

10:55 AM, July 18, 2006  
Blogger Nike said...

As a child of an educator I often wonder about homeschooling. What's so awful about sending your child to schools that have licensed and trained professionals for the specfic purpose of imparting knowledge to your child?
If you object to some of the curriculum why not teach them YOUR views at home?
And if you are homeless at least your child gets a hot meal and a warm place to stay for a few hours.

11:14 AM, July 18, 2006  
Blogger Michael McArthur said...

I agreed with pretty much everything except the "automati[c] disqualif[ication]" part. My parents were saved from homelessness only by the grace of Canada's social assistance programs. I hold two bachelor degrees and my MLIS. My father became ill (as happened to so many people we ignore on the street), and could not work. If we had been relegated to the street,would his illness have rendered him stupid? Too dumb to teach me arithmetic? I think not. I know you're not talking about my family and I did not take this personally, but just remember that not everyone comes from middle class families, and some of these generalizations hit pretty close to home for more people than you'd imagine.

11:46 AM, July 18, 2006  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

Michael MacArthur, I'm glad you have been able to succeed so much in life, but you did not say whether or not you were homeschooled. I make no assumptions about anyone's intelligence. If the mother referred to in the article had a home, I wouldn't quibble about her homeschooling her child, but having no permanent address makes me think she is unqualified. I'm not doubting her intelligence.

I maintain that a parent cannot successfully homeschool his or her child without a home, and I'm willing to allow home to be defined very broadly. Living with relatives. Renting a room. All qualify. Living in a temporary shelter does not.

And to Nike, just to give you an example for homeschooling, I have two cousins who are homeschooled. They live in a rural area where the people do not have a great deal of understanding or acceptance. One cousin has Down's Syndrome while the other is of mixed race. Both received such hostility in school that my aunt took them out of the school system to save them the heartache and abuse. They are not wealthy enough to send the girls to a private school so they are doing the best they can.

1:55 PM, July 18, 2006  
Blogger Inexplicable DeVice said...

You're not terrible, you're practical!

2:29 PM, July 19, 2006  

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