The BC Civil Liberties Association today released an open letter to the York School Board in Ontario, and the Canadian Jewish Congress, calling on both bodies to reconsider the steps taken recently to remove Three Wishes, a Canadian children’s book, from consideration for the prestigious Silver Birch award, and, effectively, to discourage Canadian children from reading the book.
This move, coming just as Canada was celebrating Freedom to Read week, seems ill advised to the BCCLA, and we are asking that both the CJC and the York school board reflect deeply on the freedom of expression issues raised by this matter.
BCCLA President Jason Gratl: “Three Wishes is a book of interviews with Israeli and Palestinian children, and it touches upon deeply contentious issues such as suicide bombings. The existence of political violence and its effects on children does not merit censorship. There is altogether too much of that going around these days.”
The BCCLA is dedicated to protecting free speech and all the other civil liberties that make democracy possible. We consider intellectual freedom and access to controversial written material as a necessary pre-condition for democratic self-rule, and are deeply concerned about protecting these values for young readers as well as old.
Open letter to York School Board. read >>