Challenge update: Highland Park, TX.

Okay, the less-confusing news first: the challenge to The Art of Racing in the Rain is going forward, and a challenge committee has been named.

And now, the slightly more confusing news: apparently, there has been PERMISSION SLIP DRAMA?

From Dallas News:

Last week, teachers sent home a permission slip listing three classics: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. The books are literature choices for 11th-grade Advanced Placement English students, who elect to take the college-level course.

But THEN, the Superintendent said the teachers who sent them out were in error, that permission slips weren't necessary to be sent out for THOSE books, BUT that they ARE necessary for these others:

They are The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, and The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler.

Some of the titles on that list were part of the DRAMZ that played out in September, some—DRACULATHE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY??—are new.

All that aside, it seems to me that if they're going the permission slip route instead of the opt-out route—making students/parents jump through a hoop in order TO BE ALLOWED to read, rather than putting the burden of responsibility on those who'd prefer to OPT-OUT—then they may as well just send permission slips for EVERYTHING. I mean, why give Hemingway and Hawthorne and Twain a pass?

Points to the school for being pretty transparent about the whole thing: they've made a lot of information about their process easily available, as well as writing up an FAQ and so on.