Editorial: Speak for “Speak”
For all the sophomores or upperclassmen, you have read or were supposed to read the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, or a book similar to the situation in the book.
Speak had numerous valuable themes and lessons, one being that when you are an upcoming freshman life can be extremely difficult; change alone can be quite inflexible. Another is the behaviors one should be aware of while they are taking on the action of underage drinking.
Teaching aid Nikki Wright makes a very good point: “I never read [Speak] but I am aware of the concept. I think the concept some of the students are not able to read about anymore for maybe that kind of content of the book, however, I think it should be a higher level or a choice. It has to be a special kind of person that can lead a discussion or be part of the discussion. I think underage drinking in this society we are not in a one size fits all world nor society and that is the problem.”
The opinions on this book vary a lot, however. I am a sophomore and I believe the students should read it, other sophomores do not have as strong of an opinion. I asked the question “How do you feel about the freshman not reading Speak anymore?” and Emma Chapman, who is also a sophomore, answered with “I don’t care”.
But when I asked the question “How do you feel about reading the book Hatchet instead of the book Speak this year?” And I think you will be amazed at how many said that they have already read the book.
Isabel Palmer, is one of the only freshmen who elaborated her answer, said “Speak relates to people in more ways. We do not want to be learning about things that aren’t even happening in my life. I want to read about things that will make me more aware so I understand things that would happen”.
One more freshman who explained to me why she would rather read the book Speak than Hatchet was Mallory Brace, who said, “I’d say speak because I never read that and I already read hatchet…hatchet is more a survival story that nobody cares about.”
The reasons why Speak is no longer being read is still a little up in the air, however, freshman honors and regular English teacher Leslie Craft said “We chose not to read a choice subunit at the end with fees and things with expenses and times. I love it and they wanted to read it, and I miss some of the discussions”.
I then asked Caitlin Evans, an upperclassmen English teacher how she felt about the freshman no longer reading Speak as well and she replied with “Speak addresses important issues teens deal with on a day to day basis and for that reason it’s sad to see that book go away, however, I’m sure whatever decision the freshman English teachers are making is one best for students. Hopefully, there will be some opportunities for them to explore that in other literature”.
I also asked Matt Boggs an English teacher why they were no longer reading Speak and he replied “I think it is because we did not have enough time, we were changing the curriculum”.
Most of these interviews have one thing in common, they all in some way want to bring speak back.
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