Throughout history, books have been banned for various reasons -- for sex, for language, for racism and for viewpoints. In British Columbia this week, a quote from Dr. Seuss' Yertle The Turtle was on the receiving end of a boycott for a politically polarizing reason.
According to the Globe and Mail, an elementary school teacher in Prince Rupert was told she could not display the quote, "I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom, we too should have rights” from the book in her classroom.
As Joanna Larson, president of the BCTF local in Prince Rupert noted on Twitter:
Teachers in PrinceRupert,BC could face discipline for displaying Dr.Suess quote.Management "must insulate students from political messages"
Dave Stigant, acting director of instruction for the Prince Rupert School District, stated the decision was based on the November, 2011 ban by an arbitrator on political messages in schools in the province, though the ongoing labour dispute between the teacher's union and the province played a role as well.
This isn't the first time a Dr. Seuss book has faced exile. In 1989, Laytonville, California, tried to ban The Lorax, based on its criminalization of foresting, one of the town's primary industries. While the objector -- the father of a student who came home from school with the book -- was eventually outvoted in his opinions, it did reveal the potential for controversy inherent in these children's books.
Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Geisel, started his career as a political cartoonist, and was vocal in his desire to educate children about politics. He once stated the character of Yertle was modelled after Hitler.
SEE: The most commonly banned books: