NY School Burns And Bans All Textbooks In Favor Of 'Modern Technology,' Fails To Provide Technological Tools

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald May 01, 04:00 am
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Manhattan's Life Sciences Secondary School won't be using textbooks anymore as the school principal ordered burning these. PICTURED: A student studies textbooks on law.
(Photo : Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Heads of a school in New York ordered the burning and banning of all textbooks. The principal and assistant principal in Manhattan's Life Sciences Secondary School cited printed textbooks were "antiquated" so these will be replaced with "modern technology."

Despite the order from Principal Kim Swanson and Assistant Principal Derek Premo, some staffers said the school was ill-equipped to provide digital references for its students. The school itself lacked internet service, computer hardware and devices, as per New York Post.

Swanson and Premo asked students and teachers to surrender and compile the textbooks last November. Since then, the school's halls and stairwells, including emergency exits, have stacks of books for purging.

Some students, however, hid their copies of classics like "Romeo and Juliet" or expensive SAT guides. Some also complained the school instead handed out packets or worksheets of literature or material for use in the classes in lieu of devices.

Swanson did not respond to requests for comments on The Post's report. A spokesperson from the local Department of Education said the books for burning and banning were old editions that no longer worked for the school's current curriculum.

The burning and banning of textbooks come as recent reports cited sales of real books surged 7.5 percent in 2016 in the U.S. while sales of e-books dropped to 18.7 percent. The sale of e-readers, on the other hand, dropped to 40 percent since 2011.

"The print format is appealing to many and publishers are finding that some genres lend themselves more to print than others and are using them to drive sales of print books," publisher Phil Stokes said, as per CNN. Experts also said the choice to dial down on screen time or a "digital detox" prompted the return towards printed books.

What do you think of the Life Sciences Secondary School's policy on printed books? Are kids in your child's school also turning to devices or have the schools retained traditional materials? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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