Highland Park, TX—Alright students, close your books. No, really! That’s what 10th graders at Highland Park High were told to do after parents protested required reading with suggestive themes like sex scenes, rape, abortion, and abuse.
Monday, parents got a letter from Principal Walter Kelly saying, “I understand that some of the choices made within our school jeopardized the trust that some families have in us.” Seven books were suspended until further review.
’Song of Solomon’ by Toni Morrison, ‘The art of racing in the rain’ by Garth Stein, and ‘The Glass Castle’ by Jeannette Walls were a few of the books suspended. Walls happens to be the speaker at the district’s literacy festival this year.
“I worked in the library at the middle school and at the high school. That [topic] became controversial…sometimes parents didn’t approve of what they were going to be reading so they gave them a different book. Mothers and fathers, they know they’re students the best,” former librarian Sally Collins said.
Plenty of parents aren’t on board with the book ban. There’s a group of parents protesting the decision with an e-mail campaign. Some folks agree.
“I think if parents are more engaged in literature, then it’s not that much of a surprise when these new and challenging and controversial topics come up,” Christian Matheis said. “What else are we going to do to prepare our children to become capable adults. The bubble model just doesn’t work.”
“At some point, you have to have some common ground,” Collins added.
Will these books be expelled for good? Or are they just in a ‘time out.’