SD2 Hearing for Book Removal Request - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

SD2 Hearing for Book Removal Request

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BILLINGS -

Parents, students, and teachers piled into the Lincoln Center tonight for the ad hoc committee meeting for a hearing a hearing about a book some parents want removed from the required reading list. Those who want to keep the book in the curriculum spoke out too.

After listening to community members passionately voice their opinions, the committee decided to submit a recommendation to keep the book on the school required reading list.

"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian" is on School District Two's required reading list for 10th graders. A few parents appealed and asked for the book to be removed from the required list because of its vulgar and graphic content. They also asked to have the option to opt out and for parents to have the right to decide what their children read.

"What I am here to do is to assure that every parent and child is given the option or alternative, whereas known as a choice when it comes to what they have to read without being afraid of persecution," said Gail Supola, a concerned parent.

However, many students and teachers alike stepped forward to voice their support for the educational value of the novel.

"They're realistic. The ugly things that are said to Arnold in this book are said to children in this district," said Glenda McCarthy, Senior High English teacher. "We need to learn to live with each other. We need to learn empathy and we need to understand the prejudice that some of us endure"

"The book provides a true and irreplaceable voice for young adults that are American Indian," said Chad Fallsdown, a student. "I mean there's a reason this book is critically acclaimed and awarded. It shows the real side and issues on the reservation from poverty to racism."

The ad hoc committee, made up of three board members, agrees there is educational value to the novel, and recommended to keep the book on the reading list. They also submitted a motion to review and improve on the opt out policy.

The recommendation will go in front of the full school board on November 18th. A decision will be made then.

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