Cadlelight Vigil Held In Protest of the New Textbook Policy

( [email protected] ) Dec 12, 2003 04:46 PM EST

PINEVILLE, La. – A candlelight vigil was held at Pineville college on Dec. 10 to protest against the school’s new textbook policy.

About 150 students, alumni and faculty members of Louisiana College gathered against the college trustees and administration to nullify the new policy, which requires the vice president of academic affairs to approve all teaching materials, reading selections and textbooks.

The crowd at the vigil asserted the board to schedule a special meeting for the change of the policy and to let the selection of books that will be used in class be under the decision of faculty members.

The board took action after President Rory Lee removed "A Lesson Before Dying" by Ernest J. Gaines and "The Road Less Traveled" by Scott Peck from the school's bookstore after a student complained of Peck’s use of profane words and the portrayal of love scene in the book of Gaines.

Former trustee Clyde Hoyt disagreed with the policy. He said, "They've gone overboard."

Professors took action on campus to protest the new policy by wearing black to class. History professor Thomas Howell taught classes on Dec. 8 dressed all in black to protest academic "censorship." Other professors wore black armbands on Dec. 5, the same day a majority of faculty approved a statement opposing the policy.

Also students left messages like “Ignorance is Bliss” and “Education, not Indoctrination” on campus with chalk.