Help get a Golden Compass poster out of a public school

DD came home the other day and said that in the ‘media center’ at her middle school they have put up a poster for the Golden Compass. They have several posters up advertising new books or movies with book tie-ins. Since this is a public school, what do you think is the best approach for her to take to get this poster taken down, or replaced with something else? I would of course be willing to supply the school with something else to put up.

What you do is, when nobody’s lookin…paste The Prince Caspian poster on top of the Golden Compass poster, and see if anybody notices. :doh2: vs.

For a Prince Caspian poster…

Let me know if you need a higher resolution. :thumbsup:

Phil P

Do they have posters for Narnia? If so then at least they are being fair. If not you could ask them to put up some counter posters.

It’s a public school. You have no right to take the poster down or cover it up with any other, let alone begin a process to try to get the administration to take it down.

The posters are going up because the movie is coming out and the books will be on the Scholastic Book sales lists (or other commercial book fairs which appear at various schools for fundraisers).

No one is forcing your daughter to see the movie, read the book, or even look at the poster.

I disagree. If it was a poster of a naked woman, could one say “It’s a public school. You have no right…”? Perhaps she doesn’t have the “right” to cover it up or take it done, but to say that she doesn’t have the “right” to “begina a process to try to get the administration to take it down” - I think you’re sorely mistaken.

My advice to Sally is to express her concerns to those in charge of the school.

Oh, I like PhilVaz’s idea… deb1’s thought plays it a little more fair, but covering it up with CS Lewis is even better. Wouldn’t Phillip Pullman love that? I guess 1 reason he wrote the books is because the Chronicles of Narnia angered him.

I think I heard that Scholastic Books is not only pushing the books, but they are also helping to produce the films, so we’ll probably see a bigger push to promote the books than usual. I don’t have much advice for how to handle the school, other than letting them know you find the material bigoted & offensive. That might only work for other religous groups & organizations, though.

American Life League’s web site might give you some ideas. I’ve seen info there about how to get Planned Parenthood out of your school , & recently they have ideas to get a Planned Parenthood book that is designed for young kids out of your library.

Oh, PLEASE, the poster for Golden Compass is NOT pornography.

Stick to the topic. A Narnia poster and a Golden Compass poster or even a Passion of the Christ Poster or one for Holes, Clifford, Harry Potter, The Color Purple, Schindler’s List, etc. have every right to be displayed at public schools where reading and literature, particular children’s literature, are part of the curriculum. It’s called promotional advertising and the goal is to get people to buy the books so they will READ. Reading is dismal in the schools these days.

Just don’t buy the books, let your child read the books, or pay to see the movie if the content is offensive to you and your family.

Now, if it turns out your daughter’s literature class will have the Pullman books as primary reading for the curriculum then you have the right to go to the administration to negotiate a way for your daughter to be given a different assignment. That’s a different matter than a poster on the main hallways of a public school or even if it’s on display in the library.

You should not attempt this, alone. Surely, you must know the parents of your daughter’s friends. (If you don’t, then worrying about this poster should be the least of your concerns.) Anyway, I would recommend that you get every Catholic parent that you know in the community to unite together, and in a civil and charitable manner, approach the school board on the issue.

Keep in mind, though, that due to America being such a culturally diverse country, every culture essentially feels as if they, personally, are being discriminated against, since they don’t single-handedly dominate.(Yes, as Catholics we are guilty of that, too, as are our Protestant brethren) As a result, any culture that stands up for their, “rights,” are going to receive disdain from every other culture who also feel as if their, “rights,” are violated by mainstream American society, since America has not learned how to grant rights to one group, without taking them away from another.

For example, “child rights” advocates take disciplinary rights away from parents and teachers. “Abortion rights” activists take the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness away from unborn children. So, if you pursue this, you will be accused of trying to take, “freedom of speech,” away from the public school. Nevertheless, blessed are those who…well you know. Go for it!

My daughter isn’t interested in saeeing the movie or reading the book, but she has to walk past the poster every day. Especially since it IS a public school, I see nothing wrong with her attempting to get it taken down–she is just expressing her rights.

Thanks, I do plan to speak to the administration. I also want to encourage my daughter to express her opinion to help her learn to stand up for her rights as well.

I agree that if this were a reading assignment it would be much more important. However, I do think this is a good, ‘safe’ project for her to use as an introduction to social action. With that in mind, do you have any suggestions?

It is very true that each groups ‘rights’ infringe to some respect on anothers. However, this still seems like a good test case for her to begin to see how the process works. If it doesn’t get taken down, she will have still learned something.

And yes, I do know her friends’ parents. :thumbsup:

Thanks for the website suggestion. I don’t want her to cover it up without permission of course. But being able to offer a Narnia poster or something similar that can be put up nearby at least is a good suggestion.

Don’t think we’ll do it when no one is looking… but the offer of a counter poster is a good idea.

Thinking about this, I would recommend going about this as silently as possible, as not to give this movie the same publicity that the CHRISTIAN community gave to the Davinci Code by so loudly objecting to it. At the same time, you must do something to get that poster removed from the wall. Approaching the administration in a civil and charitable manner should be step 1.

Social action is usually based upon inalienable ‘rights’ - food, shelter, clothing, life for all people.

Taking action in a public school setting to remove one poster because one person opposes it is censorship. It is the same ‘social action’ which ended up getting prayer out of our schools and is encroaching upon removing ‘under God’ from the pledge of allegiance - only in reverse.

What you are teaching your daughter is that it is ok - because she is Catholic - to advocate dictating what non-catholics view in a non-catholic setting. If this were a Catholic school setting I’d offer several suggestions to get the posters off the shelf and to be sure no book-sales-organizations promote the books on the catholic campus.

But because this is a publicly funded school, paid by the taxpayers who are of varying religious faiths, no one person has the ‘right’ to dictate what posters are on display - over that of what the state allows, that is, since it is first and foremost, a state-run/paid-for institution.

We’re talking about promoting literature, reading. There **is **a market for these books and if it encourages people to read, the state has no business saying otherwise. Just as the state run school permits the Chronicles of Narnia to be promoted on campus, and other books/cds and such promoting Christmas - including the concept of Jesus being the savior of the world and such. How do you tell your daughter it is within her athiest classmate’s ‘right’ to advocate against the school allowing such ‘literature’ to be available on campus? The position is hypocritical, and that’s not Catholic.

Get your daughter to advocate against bullying, or for recycling or something the state supports which is good for all people but for some odd reason is not being practiced. She will not face as much of an uphill battle and therefore will be able to see fruitful results from her efforts. That will encourage her to tackle the tougher issues down the line.

The point of advocacy is to better the community overall, not to dictate what literature should be permitted/promoted on campus, unless, of course, we’re talking about pornography - but that’s because it’s illegal according to state law - the state does not support it so it doesn’t belong in a state institution.

I disagree. Your thought process seems to be coming from the secular perspective that all cultures deserve equal representation, and equal respect, rather than the Christian perspective that Jesus Christ is the truth, the life, and the way, and needs to reign supreme, even in secular settings. Remember Acts 5:29. We need that kind of faith of the apostles, if we are to make a difference for Christ. Other cultures are constantly advocating for their rights that infinge upon ours, and infinge upon the moral well-being of our children, so we need to fight back, with love, but fight back, nevertheless.

As I mentioned earlier, the bottom line is that someone’s rights are inevitably going to infinge upon someone else’s rights. That’s the nature of the beast of a multicultural society. You know very well that if someone wanted to hang up a poster for a movie/book with an anti-semetic, racially bigotted, or anti-gay message, the offended groups would not say, “we need to respect the freedom of expression of those who are dehumanizing us. We don’t want to become guilty of censorship. After all, it is a public setting.”

If the poster said, “Merry Christmas,” you know that the ACLU wouldn’t be saying, “We need to respect the rights of those who want to share their holiday cheer.”

Now, I am not saying that we should act like everyone else, in fact, we are called to be separated from the world, but at the same time we also need to stand up for what’s right. Yes, America is caught up in a culture war. That war CAN NOT be won by respecting the “freedom of expression” rights of Satan to attack your God, your Church, and your children. The question isn’t whether she should protest the poster. She DEFINITELY should, to the point where it may even be borderline sinful NOT to. The question is what the best most charitable, yet effective method would be to get that poster removed, WITHOUT generating disdain towards Catholics, or Christians in general, and without generating publicity for the offending book/movie.

Maybe you could ask if you could create a poster describing why the books are not the best reading material for Christians. If the library allowed, you could hang it up next to the Pullman poster instead of the Narnia poster I first suggested. That way you could do stealth evangelizing.:cool:

If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

**DO NOT **(either you, your daughter, or anyone) TOUCH the poster;

DO NOT place your own poster on the wall without getting permission from the Principal or Assistant P, in writing is safest, signed, preferably on school stationary to make doubly sure, then, if permission is granted, have a school bureaucrat do it (some teacher’s “word” or even the Principal’s word is not enough to be 100% safe).

Remember, it is the public school’s wall, and thus their property; so, taking it off the wall could result in disciplinary action or even a misdemeanor criminal charge against your child or you for destroying public property or disturbing the peace.

And believe me, these state bureaucrats are just waiting to charge you or your child, or suspend her for any reason. They enjoy their petty power over the lives of kids.

First, talk to the Librarian; that may be the easiest since you can probably visit the school while your daughter is there (see what their policy is); print some news articles from both the Catholic and Protestant Press, showing what rotten books these are, and the atheistic message these books have.

When you talk, do so in a polite manner; do not get emotional or get in a yelling match.

If the Head Librarian has a heart (if you live in the South, you just may have a chance; otherwise, a lot of these librarians have the same outlook towards books as YingYang Mom has), they’ll see your point and remove it.

Most people don’t know what these books are about; they just see the polar bears and assume it is a nice kid’s film;
it simply looks like an interesting children’s film for the Christmas Holiday season.

It may help if you knew some of the other moms or dads of the kids at the school, who are willing to stick their necks out;
Safety in numbers, even if it is only one other parent; I will assume you’re doing this by yourself.

Otherwise, you may have to talk to the Principal or Assistant P, and my experience with these folks is that they want everything to run smoothly, don’t want any arguments about anything or have to do anything (like work a little harder), and want to collect their fat paycheck every two weeks.

Talk to these Chief Bureaucrats, again calmly and professionally; no yelling or fighting. Your best bet is to do it in person; try to go with your husband or a male relative.

If you do it by phone, it is easier for them to give you the brush off.

Unless the bureaucrats are kind and agree to take it down themselves, you probably can’t do anything about it.

You’re a parent; your responsible for your child’s welfare and well-being; you also pay property taxes to support the atheistic, American public school system; you have a say so in your child’s education, and more importantly, at least in theory, your child’s teachers also have a responsibility for your child’s well-being.

Really, it (in theory) the schools are there to serve the parents, and not the other way around; but once you give a state bureaucrat power, they almost invariably become petty tyrants.

This reminds me of a local story at a high school in Troy, MI, in a wealthy Detroit suburb; a teacher put up a poster which depictied people working at various occupations (e.g., like doctor, engineer, secretary), and at the top, the poster said “Gay People Are Everyday People.”

The father of a student contacted the school, talked to the teacher and principal, and explained that the poster was offensive to his (Catholic) religious beliefs. Do you think the state bureaucrats said ok Mr. so and so, I understand what your concerns, and took it down? Nope.

I don’t think the man hired a lawyer or anything like that; you may want to contact the Thomas More Center, which is a Christian (Catholic) Legal Rights Advocacy Center which is on the campus of Ave Maria School of Law), and tell them you want to get rid of this poster, and see what they say. If they take your case, I am almost certain they do it for free, but, from what I know about public schools, if they won’t do remove it from their own free will, there probably is not much you can do legally. Maybe, just maybe, some judge will listen to your concerns.

And YingYang Mom, if you actually believe what you’re writing ask yourself, where did these books come from?? Why is The Golden Compass being pushed on these young kids??

If this school wants to promote reading, why not read the classics?

Why are these students not reading and discussing the great works of literature, like Beowulf, the Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare’s dramas, The Iliad, Paradise Lost, Aesop’s Fables???

These are great works of art and have withstood the test of time; that is why they are called “classics.” They are 1,000,000 times educationally more important than the scribblings of some hacks who want to make a fortune off kids.


As a public school teacher, my advice is that you DO NOT have daughter or yourself pull down or cover up the poster. This will get both of you in a lot of trouble. Please remember that public schools are suppose to to enforce the separation between church and state. Unless a book has inappropriate language, violence, or sexual activity for a particular age group the school is not obligated to do anything. Just because a book is anti-religous or supports a religion you disagree with is not a reason in PUBLIC schools to pull a book or a poster.

Now that being said, I can’t stand this book. The poster has gone up in our library and its the most popular book for checkout right now. What you can do is donate posters to the library for books that you think are better. Public school libraries are almost always lacking resources, if you could donate a poster or two most of the time they will go up. Also you could volunteer to come up with a display for a book that you think is better. Almost all libraries have sometype of display case. If you make it attractive and appealing it may encourage kids to read another book. If the book is not being checked out, it is likely that the librarian will pull down the poster and put another one up.


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