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Students Stage ‘The House of the Spirits’ Read-In at WHS on Thursday Morning, Final Appeal Tonight

Watauga High School students engage in a “read-in” of “The House of the Spirits” novel on Thursday morning.

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: