Broke Book Battle: Highland Park Parent Wants ‘Working Poor’ Banned

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HIGHLAND PARK, Texas -- The “Battle of the Books” in Highland Park isn’t over yet.

“The Working Poor,” a non-fiction account about Americans living just above the poverty line, now has a formal complaint filed against it with Highland Park Independent School District.

Kinda ironic for one of the richest school districts in Texas.

“It didn’t seem like a big deal when we read it,” says Highland Park senior Gaby Gear. “Just kind of the realities of life.”

But some parents say no way they want their kids reading about “realities” that include sexual abuse and abortion.

“If you can’t even have that kind of language in music without it being labeled explicit,” says Alice Linahan. “Why are we allowing it to be taught in our schools?”

But two Highland Park seniors who read the book last year, say those realities had a big impact on them.

“To me it kind of opened my eyes,” says Maddie Kelly. “I couldn’t imagine going through that.”

“The Working Poor” was one of seven books removed from the curriculum by HPISD last fall. That decision sparked a major outcry from parents who disagreed with the ban.

It wasn’t long before Superintendent Dawson Orr reversed course and put the books back on the shelf.

“I think any kid that couldn't read it in the future might miss out on the facts it was trying to portray,” says Kelly.

HPISD will review the complaint and issue a decision at a later date.

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