Students Stage Library ' Study- In'
To Protest Book Confiscation
Students from the Farmingdale
Senior High School last Sunday
afternoon staged an orderly
' study in' at the main Farming-dale
Public Library building to
protest what they termed ' censorship'
of Trustee - elect, Carl
E. Gorton in ' confiscating' the
library owned magazine, " Paris
Steve Van Hasslen of 34 Hill
Road, Farmingdale, one of the
students said, " We are protest-"
ing Mr. Gorton's action in taking
a book off the shelves without the
" I am here because I believe
Mr. Gorton was wrong in his
concept of censorship", added
Joe Habitino of 12 North Summit
Drive, North Massapequa.
A student from Massapequa
Park, told The Observer, " I
feel that Mr. Gorton's actions
were unjust not only in taking out
the book without permission, but
if he is allowed to do this I
feel that anyone should be able
to take out any book they want
wiihout permission and start
own library of uncensored
John Scardino of 124 Washington
Strcst, South Farmingdale
saTd, " I don't think Mr. Gorton,
Bireher or no Bircher, has any
right to decide what books the
peopl.- of Farmingdale should
High School senior Douglas
Hynes stated that there are many
books in the library, which according
to Mr. Gorton's standards
are ' pornographic'. For
example, the Holy Bible, revised
standard version contains what
he might call ' pornographic'
passages. Then there's ' Dirty
Helen' one of the zaniest, unconventional
ex- madame and
tavern keeper's tales of her many
adventures. We have other titles
here on the library shelves,
namely " Sex is A Private
Affair," " Noah's Ark", " The
Naked God", Bobsy Twins at
Summer Camp", to name but
Joseph Blau of 17 Yoakum
Street, and William Grady of
25 Hillside Road, Farmingdale
explained, " we are trying to
show how foolish Mr. Gorton
is in censoring the books by
himself and hindering ideas on
which this public library was
Andy Boon of 168 Buck Drive,
North Massapequa, " The purpose
of this'study- in'is to show
much we are interested and that
we are smart enough to decide
for ourselves what we should
or should not read."
Mike Cleary of 154 North Maple
Street, North Massapequa said,
" I am opposed to censorship
According"- to Karen Arsdale
of 49 Walnut Avenue, East Farmingdale,
" Mr. Gorton does not
have the right to play Napolean.
I disagree with the idea of censorship.
Students who are young
have no use for the Paris Review.
The students asked trustee-elect
Carl Ec Gorton, the difference
between ' steal' and'confiscate*.
Gorton said, " Let's go
to the dictionary. Confiscate
means to seize by or as if by
public authority." He explained.
" Each adult citizen in this state
upon the observance or witness
of a crime of another can make
what is known as a citizen's
" I have not taken that extreme
measure. It is based on the
recongition of individual responsibility,"
" The legality of my action
is to be judged by a court of
law, if it reaches that state
not by the press and not by
you students. You may have your
opinions, but you are not a judge
" But you stole the magazine
" Gorton said, I could quote
scripture. You act so righteous,
and even if you were to interpret
this as an act of thievery
are you going to stand there
and tell me you have never stolen
a thing in your life?"
" No we won't", they said.
" Is there anyone here who
will care to cast the first stone?"
" I'm sure that since you are
so democratically inclined that
you would want to see that everyone
gets his due rights. Now,
would you violate every law on
the books in South Caroline to
see that the Negro got his voting
" We would".
" There you sit accusing me of
breaking the law, an action taken,
in my belief, in upholding the
laws of this state."
One student asked, " Do you
feel that the rights of the Negro
can compare with your cause
in removing the magazine from
Gorton makes a point with members of the
student'study- in* at the Farmingdale Public Library
last Sunday. vhuUl ,1V ,., Urtss
Farmingdale OBSERVER Thursday, May 18, 1967
Gorton added, that the taking
of the law into ones own hands
is anarchy. This is a country
built on law, not on majority
nor minority rule, but the law.
I'm just testing the law."
" Why did you not wait for the
board to decide whether the magazine
was obscene or not?"
" Because its presence on the
shelves, available to teenagers
constitutes a crime in commission."
" But you had taken it out, before
it was proven obscene. Perhaps
the reason the library board
refused to review it was because
they felt you had committed a
crime. That you had taken censorship
into your own hands."
" Someone is confused between
censorship and selection. If
someone selects material that
should be placed in the library,
someone is determining what
shall be made or not be made
available to you to read. This
is exercising, a form of censorship
as far as your reading material
is concerned," Gorton said.
Farmingdale Senior High School students staged a " study- in" at the
Farmingdale Public Library last Sunday and pointed to other books in the
library which might be termed ' pornographic* The students were protesting
what they felt was the ' illegal confiscation* of the ' Paris Review' by Trustee-elect
Carl E. Gorton and what they termed censorship. Later the members
of the study - in held an open discussion with Gorton. Photo by Pokress
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