CompPanels: Images from the annals of composition


Clarifying Values in Warsaw, Indiana

A self-proclaimed Citizen's Group of Warsaw, Indiana burning forty copies of a textbook that had been banned by the Warsaw school board. The photograph was taken by Michael Myers, of the Warsaw Times-Union, and accompanied a news report of the book burning on December 15, 1977.

The textbook was Values Clarification: A Handbook of Practical Strategies for Teachers and Students,by Sidney B. Simon, Leland W. Howe, and Howard Kirschenbaum. Hart Publishing originally marketed it in 1972. These good citizens might have found their own clarification of values confirmed had they known that in 1983 the book would be translated into Chinese and, presumably, used as a school text in mainland China. In 1995 Warner Books reissued it in a new revised edition. 

I have scanned and enhanced the photograph from the frontispiece to Lee Burress, Battle of the Books: Literary Censorship in the Public Schools, 1950-1985 (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1989).

RH, April 2003