Challenges in KY and ND.

  • From the Courier-Journal:

    Eastern High student Leo Comerlato was just 30 pages from the end of Toni Morrison's classic novel "Beloved" when his teacher told him to stop reading.

    Why? Because at least two parents had complained that the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about antebellum slavery depicted bestiality, racism and sex -- inappropriate reading, they said, for 150 senior Advanced Placement English students.

    Inappropriate reading for a 12-grade AP -- college level -- class.  I wonder if the same parents will be calling colleges this fall to complain about the reading material.  Probably. 

    The class is now reading The Scarlet Letter.  Apparently no one is worried about innocent seventeen and eighteen-year-olds minds being sullied by novels about ladies having affairs with priests.

  • And in Fargo:

  • A Fargo parent who has called for banning at least two books in the past few years wants two more books removed from district classrooms and charges that her demands have not been acted upon quickly.

    Last year, Pamela Sund Herschlip challenged John Grisham's A Time to Kill and Barbara Park's Mick Harte Was Here.  This year, it's two books by Stanley Gordon West:  Finding Laura Buggs and Until They Bring the Streetcars Back

    It sounds like the school has a pretty solid challenge policy in place.  According to the policy, Herschlip does "not have standing to request either informal or formal reviews because she does not have a child in classes using the books", but a reconsideration committee is being formed and will meet in four to six weeks.  No word as to why they're giving her the time of day*, though this quote from the Superintendent does make him sound a tad irritated:

    “I think Pamela believes that our policy should have provisions to call the superintendent or the assistant superintendent” and get a book removed when she complains, Flowers said.

    “I don’t think anyone should censor in that manner,” he said. “We think that we’re being as accommodating as possible.”

    On a related-but-not-really note:  When did high schools start teaching John Grisham?

    *She sounds like a serial challenger to me, is all.