Thursday, September 15, 2005
In Texas, the McAllen School Board denied a demand to ban A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving from an advanced English class for seniors at McAllen High School.
- "It's full of vulgarity. It's full of profanity. It's full of very adult situations and things that we just don't need to have our children exposed to," said Mark Walker, an attorney, representing parent John Phillips.
- However, librarians and the teachers of the class said that the meaning of the book is one that deals with contemporary issues, faith and friendship and is important for the students.
Reported by Romeo Cantu of KGBT TV4.
In Florida, Vikki Reed, a mother upset over what she calls "pornography" is attempting to block Volusia County's gifted high-school students from reading Cracking India: A Novel by Bapsi Sidhwaa, novel about India's violent partition in 1947, in DeLand High School's 11th-grade International Baccalaureate English class.
- "I think that anything this sexually explicit should not be mandatory and should not be handed out to our kids," Reed says.
- District officials have declined her request to halt the classroom instruction, because other books were available for her daughter to read, they said.
From a report by Erika Hobbs an Orlando Sentinel staff writer.
In Fayetteville [Arkansas] School Board members listened to the pleas from those who want 58 books, labeled as "pornographic" and "promoting homosexuality," removed from student access.
- "It's not OK for my kids to access to this stuff," she said, calling material contained in the books "pornographic and vile," said Laurie Taylor, a mother of 13- and 12-year-old daughters who launched the book challenges.
- Erin Brothers, a senior, urged the school board "to deny the challenge to the books and keep them available." Brothers presented board members a petition signed by 300 high school students asking the board to "affirm their right to read," to put two students on all book review committees and to support district librarians.
- Teacher John Remmers received a standing ovation for passionate remarks about gay students at Fayetteville High School who feel isolated and are ridiculed and may turn to suicide to relieve their suffering. Remmers, whose voice cracked several times in his prepared remarks, is the faculty adviser for the Gay Straight Alliance.
From a report by By Rose Ann Pearce in The Morning News.
As Mark Twain wrote, "Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them."