College censor Tara Schultz: ‘I expected Batman and Robin, not pornography’
Tara Shultz, 20, of Yucaipa, CA, wants to censor your library. She wants four graphic novels on the syllabus at Crafton Hills College banned. Why? Because Schulz thinks Persepolis, Fun Home, Y: The Last Man Vol. 1, and The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll’s House will warp minds.
Now stand back and watch sales of thsoe titles rocket.
Schulz tells the Redland Daily Facts Newspaper – and this is phrase all anti-censors should get on a T-shirt.
“I expected Batman and Robin, not pornography.”
Says Tara Shultz:
“At most I would like the books eradicated from the system. I don’t want them taught anymore. I don’t want anyone else to have to read this garbage.”
Ryan Bartlett, the professor who assigned the books, offers this response:
“I chose several highly acclaimed, award-winning graphic novels in my English 250 course not because they are purportedly racy but because each speaks to the struggles of the human condition. As Faulkner states, ‘The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.’ The same may be said about reading literature. The characters in the chosen graphic novels are all struggling with issues of morality, self discovery, heart break, etc. The course in question has also been supported by the faculty, administration and approved by the board.”
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund thinks Schulz is a censor:
Shultz, who is working towards an Associate of Arts in English at the public community college, signed up for English 250: Fiction because it fulfills one part of her degree requirements. She was apparently aware that the specific focus of the class was graphic novels, but she told the newspaper that “I expected Batman and Robin, not pornography.” Shultz says that Associate Professor Ryan Bartlett, who has taught the course for three terms without any other complaints, failed to adequately warn students about the books’ content. Her father Greg Shultz said that “if they (had) put a disclaimer on this, we wouldn’t have taken the course.” Tara Shultz agreed, saying that Bartlett “should have stood up the first day of class and warned us.”
Of course, Shultz and her parents did have complete information about which books would be covered in the class – the school requires instructors (p. 20) to distribute a detailed syllabus on the first day of the term – and ample time to withdraw with no effect on her grade. Fourteen other courses offered at Crafton Hills fulfill the same degree requirement as English 250. The college’s online calendar shows that the Spring semester began on January 12, and the last date to drop a course with no grade penalty was January 30. Shultz apparently brought up her objections to four out of ten books covered in the class after that date, when her only options were to complete the assigned work or withdraw with a 0.
To paraphrase the illiberal Schulz, We expected free speech and free thought, but we got a censor.