Coalition Against Censorship Pens Letter To WCS Book Challenge Review Committee: ‘Retain the Book”

Published Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 1:16 pm

By Mark S. Kenna 

Nov. 27, 2013. In response to “The House of the Spirits” challenge at Watauga High School, the National Coalition Against Censorships’ Kids’ Right To Read Project (KRRP) penned a letter yesterday to the Watauga County Schools’ review committee to “uphold the highest educational standards” and retain the book at WHS. (See entire letter below)

The letter outlined the constitutional, literary and curriculum-based reasons why the book should be upheld at the school.

“In this case it seems like there is still a bit of controversy, even tough the school committee upheld the book,” Acacia O’Connor, coordinator for the KRRP, said.  “We thought it was important to point out constitutional issues at play and identify the literary merit of this text for educational use in classrooms.”

The reconsideration committee comprised of interim Supt. David Fonseca and four other individuals will rule on the matter in the near future. While the second of two meetings was scheduled for today, that meeting has been postponed for a later, unscheduled date. 

Depending upon the decision of the review committee, Chastity Lesesne, the parent who filed the complaint, can appeal to the school board in a final appeal. The first review committee, the Media/Technology Advisory Committee, upheld the book Oct. 25.

The KRRP has dealt with 10 incidents of books being challenged nationally in the last three weeks, O’Connor said.

In September, Randolph County Board of Education banned “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison after a parent raised concerns about it being on their child’s summer reading list. Ten days after the Board removed the book, it was reinstated.

In the case of “The House of The Spirits” and the “Invisible Man” and the ruling in Asheboro similar arguments are being made, O’Connor said.

All of these book challenges are very similar and very different at the same time, O’Connor added.

For more background on this issue, see the following stories. 

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

 

  

 

For more background on this issue, see the following stories. 

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

 

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