Peg Lautenschlager Mixes It Up in the FDL 'Caged Bird' Saga

Atty Gen Peg Lautenschlager has come out in support of the classic lit piece:

Speaking as a parent, State Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager said she is opposed to a Fond du Lac family's petition asking that Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" be removed from the sophomore advanced English curriculum at Fond du Lac High School.
A mother, father and student oppose the book as part of a reading assignment because passages in the book describe Angelou's rape and subsequent unwanted pregnancy, said Fond du Lac High School Principal Mary Fran Merwin.
District policy allows any parent the right to request a book not be used. If the complainants are unhappy with the committee's decision, they can appeal to the superintendent and the board of education, Merwin said.
Lautenschlager said she was most concerned with the manner in which those arguing for the book's removal have framed Angelou's discussion of her rape.

"Rape is not a sexual act; it is a violent act. Rape is a vicious means by which a perpetrator uses forced sex to obtain domination and control of a victim," she said. "It happens every day in this nation, and it happens in Fond du Lac. It has happened to many Fond du Lac High School students."

Goldsmith said when the parents objected to the book, the student was immediately assigned an alternative reading assignment, but the parents decided to take it a step further and asked to have the book removed.
Lautenschlager said that for too long the crime of rape could not be discussed publicly and victims were further victimized because they were shunned by society's disgust of the crime.

"Denying all students at Fond du Lac High School the opportunity to read, discuss, analyze and learn from a brilliant, insightful and relevant piece of literature is just plain wrong," Lautenschlager said. "I also am the daughter of lifetime educators, and I get nervous when a small group of parents are allowed to overrule the wise judgment of educators and dictate what all of our children will learn."

Way to go, Peg!

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