Teens Who Vandalized Historic Va. African-American Schoolhouse Sentenced to Read Books


One Virginia judge is hoping that a group of teen vandals will be able to read themselves into some common sense after they were found guilty of vandalizing a historic African-American schoolhouse with racist, anti-Semitic and obscene graffiti, The Guardian reports.


According to the report, the judge sentenced the teens to read some 35 books, watch 14 films, visit two museums and write a research paper in order to encourage “a greater appreciation for gender, race, religion and bigotry” after they were caught vandalizing the Ashburn Colored School in Virginia.

Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Richard Wright’s Native Son, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Beautiful Struggle and Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks are among the books the teens have to read.

The Guardian notes that the prosecutor said she thought the teens, who claimed that they thought the historic schoolhouse was a shed, had reached a “teachable moment.” Each month the teens will either have to file a book report or substitute three of the books for a film review. They are also tasked with writing a paper to explain what message swastikas and white-power symbols convey, and visit a Holocaust museum and an American-history museum to learn about the internment of Japanese people during World War II.

“Hopefully, what they get out of this year is a greater appreciation for gender, race, religion, bigotry. And then when they go out into the world, they are teachers,” the judge said.

Read more at The Guardian.



The full list. No Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man...

1. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

2. Native Son by Richard Wright
3. Exodus by Leon Uris
4. Mitla 18 by Leon Uris
5. Trinity by Leon Uris
6. My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
7. The Chosen by Chaim Potok
8. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
9. Night by Elie Wiesel
10. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
11. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
12. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
13. Things Falls Apart by Chinua Achebe
14. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
15. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
16. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
17. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
18. Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
19. Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle
20. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
21. A Hope in the Unseen by Ron Suskind
22. Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas
23. Black Boy by Richard Wright
24. The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates
25. Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt
26. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
27. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
28. The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang
29. Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
30. The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
31. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
32. Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
33. Too Late the Phalarope by Alan Paton
34. A Dry White Season by Andre Brink
35. Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides