The Students of Mr. Schmitt’s English II class-Clover, SC
Dear Kurt Vonnegut:
We read about the burning of your work at Drake High School. We are very sorry. It was a horrible act. Some of us where wondering: did the authorities in Drake know what they were doing? Really? Did they know that their defiant actions of flame and cinder were a vote for ignorance and idiocy? We are not sure.
War is real. Language is real. Authors are real. And, most of all, ideals are real. What sense is there in separating students from real-world ideas? We have nowhere else to live but in the real world.
Burning a book is an attempt to rub out the authors along with their ideas. Why torch the very things that are keeping our heads above water?
Maybe Drake did not like your words. But since when do we throttle the life out the things we don’t like? Instead, shouldn’t we listen to the voices we disagree with, be it fiction or non-fiction, for just a little while? Isn’t that the American thing to do?
Again: we are sorry, we know your ideas live, and we believe our differences are really our strengths.
Mr. Schmitt’s English II Class, 2017