The mentality that somehow parents and taxpayers are subservient to Boards of Education is becoming a pervasive one; bordering on bullying in some cases.
Mrs. Baldwin’s Freedom of Information Act request still has not been filled and officials in Buncombe seemingly have fought against being transparent from the start of this process.
Baldwin had and update in this case, via a press release yesterday, which I am posting in its entirety:
For Immediate Release: An Open Letter To The Media Regarding ‘The Kite Runner’ Decision
July 2, 2015
At a special called meeting today, the Buncombe County school board accepted a review committee’s recommendation to keep ‘The Kite Runner’ on the reading list for all high schools in the district.
Cindy McMahon, school board member said, “I am grateful that this process has happened in our community and that so many of us have read this book and are talking about it. And this is what democracy is about.” After making this statement, she and the rest of the Board unanimously voted to keep the book on all high school reading lists which means the Board will not allow parents at any Buncombe high school to challenge ‘The Kite Runner’. This decision was a slap in the face of democracy and parental rights; parents should have the right to offer input into their children’s education.
This decision is about more than a sexually explicit novel (graphic descriptions of child rape/sexual assault) written at a 6th grade reading level. It is about disregard for academic rigor and the proper guardianship of our children. Many academically rigorous books could have been chosen, such as NYT Bestseller, ‘Reading Lolita in Tehran’, that address the Islamic culture but don’t contain sexually explicit details of child rape/sexual assault.
Some board members called taking the book off the list censorship. This is not about book banning or censorship but judging whether a book is suitable for whole class instruction. The book has stayed in school libraries, public libraries and bookstores.
Other board members felt opting out was a fair option. In general, opting-out is not a good solution because there is great value in class discussion. This situation forces an unequal education, unless there is a significant group opting out. It can also set up the student who opts out to be ostracized and bullied.