A Burning Idea: Progress Report 2

It has been a while since my first progress report, so it seems appropriate to offer up a second. Lauren and I did, ultimately, confirm our decision to pursue the case regarding the banning of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass in the Halton Catholic School District in Halton, Ontario, Canada. That being the case, we have continued to accrue those articles we could find online and in databases, though we have likely hit a practical limit on how much information we can extract from more of as much. We have also successfully gotten in contact with the Halton Catholic School District itself, and have obtained a few incredibly valuable documents in the report of the subcommittee which reviewed the challenge to The Golden Compass, a blank version of the form one would fill out in order to challenge a book, and the  school board meeting minutes for the date in which the book was banned.

It is worth noting, as I cannot recall whether or not I did in my prior posting on this topic, that the subcommittee which reviewed Pullman’s novel urged the school district to keep it on the shelves, seeing it as still having value. This subcommittee recommendation was brought before the school board meeting, where it was shot down before a motion to ignore the subcommittee’s recommendation and ban the book anyway was passed.

At this point, Lauren and I are attempting to get in contact with some of those involved with the case in order to hear their views on what happened and in order to collect more first-hand accounts, but we have had limited success as of yet, with the email meant to be checked by the Director of Library Services for the entire (and rather large) Halton Catholic School District not yet eliciting a response, which is highly unfortunate, as the same man was the Director of Library Services in 2007, when this incident occurred, as is now. We are also looking for possible ways to contact the school board members of the time, though none of them are still currently serving, making that difficult. Student and parent perspectives would be very much appreciated, as well, but, at this point, we certainly have enough non-interview data to cover all but the final details, so parent and student interviews would mostly be a bonus at this point, as opposed to the requirement for a functioning website that the school board meeting minutes or an interview with a then-member would be.

Here is an attempt at embedding a link, this one simply to the main page of the Halton Catholic District School Board.

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