By Jesse Wood
Feb. 27, 2014. In light of tonight’s Watauga County Board of Education meeting regarding the final appeal of “The House of the Spirits,” Emma Deuitch, a senior at Watauga High School, organized a “read-in” on Thursday morning.
Approved by administration within Watauga County Schools, students donning blue “Unlock the House” t-shirts gathered near the elevator in the commons area of the high school from 7:45 to 8:25 a.m. to read their copy of “The House of the Spirits.”
Spencer Schlenker, a senior at WHS, participated in the read-in on Thursday morning and handed out the blue t-shirts. He mentioned that while only 20 to 30 students attended the read-in, many more voiced their support this morning by taking a shirt. He also said that organizers are asking for a small donation for the t-shirts from parents.
“I support the book because I think it helps students who live in places where the type of violence we’ve read about in the book isn’t very apparent,” Schlenker said. “A lot of students didn’t even know about the Chilean revolution before reading this book. I think books like this are necessary to be able to open eyes to the reality of the world and not just their [immediate] surroundings.”
Schlenker said he plans to attend the ACLU-NC rally and school board meeting today.
Initially scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Margaret Gragg Education Center, where regular school board meetings are held, WCS announced that the meeting would be held in the Watauga County Courthouse, which can accommodate about twice the amount of people.
The meeting will still start at 7 p.m. and the doors open at 6 p.m. Also, tickets, which were initially required for the school board location, will not be required to attend the final book challenge appeal at the Watauga County Courthouse.
At 4 p.m. on Thursday, the community members supporting “The House of the Spirits” in the local schools will hold a rally in the Table Rock Room inside the Plemmons Student Union on the campus of ASU. Along with representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union – North Carolina and other students and parents, Joseph Bathanti, N.C. Poet Laureate, will attend the rally and news conference.
For more on the book challenge:
- Feb. 26, 2014: Location for Book Challenge Changed to Watauga County Courthouse, No Tickets Required
- Feb. 25, 2014: ACLU-NC To Rally With Wataugans Supporting ‘The House of the Spirits’ Before School Board Vote Thursday
- Feb. 21, 2014: Update: Boone Police Investigates Letters Sent To WHS Teachers Regarding ‘The House of the Spirits’ Novel
- Feb. 10, 2014: School Board Hears From 21 Individuals on Both Sides of Pending Book Challenge at Watauga High School
- Feb. 10, 2014. Tonight’s School Board Meeting Moved To Larger WHS Auditorium, Franklin Graham Joins the Fray
- Jan. 15, 2014. Parent Files Final Appeal for WHS Book Challenge, School Board Expected To Entertain Matter in February
- Dec. 13, 2013: Committee Retains ‘The House of the Spirits’ After Hearing Whitaker, Lesesne at Appeal Thursday
- Dec. 6 2013: Local Book Stores, Libraries See Spike In Demand For ‘The House Of The Spirits’ Since Book Challenge In Oct.
- Dec. 4, 2013: Standing Room Only in Anne Belk Library at ASU for ‘The House of The Spirits’ Teach-In Tuesday Night
- Nov. 27, 2013: Coalition Against Censorship Pens Letter To WCS Book Challenge Review Committee: ‘Retain the Book’
- Nov. 21, 2013: Allende, Author of ‘The House of the Spirits,’ Defends Book, Pens Letter to Watauga School Board, Staff
- Nov. 18, 2013: GOP Commissioners Voice Objections To Watauga School Board Regarding ‘The House of Spirits’ Novel at WHS
- Nov. 8, 2013: Members Selected for Committee To Review Challenge of ‘The House of Spirits’ in Watauga Classroom
- Nov. 6, 2013: Parents Opposed To ‘The House of Spirits’ Speak During School Board Meeting: ‘Not An Issue Of Censorship’
- Nov. 1, 2013: WHS Teachers Defend “The House Of Spirits,” Concerned Parent Moves To File Appeal To Review Committee