SPEAKing Loudly

I’m positively outraged about this latest censorship attempt against Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.  Dr. Wesley Scroggins of Republic, MO wrote an article explaining concerns he has about books included in the Republic Schools’ curriculum.  One such book is Speak.  Scroggins believes that parents need to be aware and request that Speak is removed from the curriculum because

“In high school English classes, children are required to read and view material that should be classified as soft pornography. As the main character in the book is alone with a boy who is touching her female parts, she makes the statement that this is what high school is supposed to feel like. The boy then rapes her on the next page. Actually, the book and movie both contain two rape scenes.”

What?!  Mr. Scroggins, did you even read this book?  How can you possibly write the words “soft pornography” only lines before mentioning that the main character is raped?  I’m absolutely disgusted by this misrepresentation of such an important novel.  Melinda did not want to have sex.  Melinda did not enjoy what happened to her.  Melinda was RAPED. 

I’ve mentioned before in other posts that I first read Speak in my college Young Adult Literature class.  Speak is the reason I love young adult literature.  During my first year of teaching I decided to read it out loud to my classes; my students LOVED it.  That was three years ago.  One of my students that year, a freshmen and now a senior, has a younger sister who is in my freshmen English class right now.  Guess what she’s reading!  My student from three years ago remembered me reading it out loud, enjoyed it and told her sister to read it.  Not only that, but we’ve included Speak in our curriculum.  Students that NEVER read have become readers thanks to this book.  Students identify with it, whether they’ve been a victim or they feel like the outcast at school. 

Laurie Halse Anderson should only be hearing praises for her novel, not the ignorant ramblings of a man who couldn’t possibly have read Speak.  Please don’t allow Mr. Scroggins’ article to negatively influence any more people in Republic, MO.  Go to Laurie Halse Anderson’s post about this so you can learn how to spread POSITIVE experiences and praises for Speak.  If you’re on Twitter you can post your support by including #SpeakLoudly to your tweet.


  1. this guy made me flabbergasted i couldn’t believe what he said, he needs to apriciate the book.

  2. Listening to the nonsense this “Dr.” has attempted to inform parents of is rediculous. There is a reason people read, there is a reason children learn. That is something called school. How dare someone attempt to take the cirriculum of schools and make them take out something that could change a childs opinion so much from such a simple comment that this person has choose to put. The outragious opinion these people have about something so important to most people, someone attempts to destroy just because they choose to misinterpet “Soft pornography” with rape. That’s unorthodox and unreasonable of someone to put about a book that could, chances are, make many people change their opinions on choosing to read.

  3. there is no soft pornography in the book speak. The book shouldnt get taken out of high schools at all. It’s a great book for teens.

  4. Ashlee Hillaker says:

    I agree with Mrs.Anderson, this book has no “soft pornograpy. She was raped and she was scared to tell anyone. If anything this book is a book that will help girls and guys realize that they are not alone and to speak up. I never read a book in my life until i read speak in my literature class. This book did not only change my oppion about reading but also helped me tell my story. If this book can help a girl like me who never shows her true feelings. I’ve hid my sercret of the same thing that happened to her, and thanks to Laurie Hasle Anderson i got the nerve to tell someone. So thank you Laurie and all the teachers at Clio High School who has read this book to their students. Im sure im am not thee only girl or boy for that case that has had this done to them. If someone thinks that “Speak” should be banned then okay it their oppiion.If they ban it then how will it help girl or boys like me?? It wont. Thats the problem, books help many people realize thing. Thats all i have to say.

  5. Hi Mrs. Anderson , i would like to join the book club at school . and i was wondering the info. whats days are it on?

    • Mrs. Andersen says:

      We decided today that next week on Tuesday we’re going to have a discussion about banned books here on my blog. Each person chose a banned book to read to start off the book club (Banned Books Week starts on Saturday). On Oct. 5th we’re going to meet in person after school in my room.

  6. ok thank you:) so i’ll just check out a banned book from the library.

  7. ashley oszust says:

    hi mrs. anderson, im almost done with hush hush. i was wondering if u have house of night series BURN?

    • Mrs. Andersen says:

      Hi Ashley 🙂 I have Burned, but it’s checked out right now. If you can’t get a copy sooner, I’ll let you know when I get it back.

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