W. Va. Book Ban IntensifiesCHARLESTON, W.Va.
The Kanawha County Board of Education wants a closer look at a possible rating system for school reading materials, a suggestion that was brought up after parents objected to graphic violence in two Pat Conroy books.
"Beach Music" and "The Prince of Tides" were suspended from two English classes at Nitro High School earlier this fall. Committees were formed to read each book separately and make recommendations to the board.
The first committee that read "Beach Music" voted to allow the book and its discussions back into the system, but the board did not act on the recommendation Monday.
Instead, board member Bill Raglin asked that county guidelines on reading materials, including suggestions about alternative reading choices and the book rating system, be formally written into county policy "so that we don't have to go through this five or six years from now," he said.
To the dismay of both book opponents and Nitro teachers and students who anticipated a victory, Judy Gillian, the language arts curriculum specialist for Kanawha County schools, was told to report back to the board on Dec. 13 after the proposed language was written.
Parents suggested the rating system after the books were suspended. It would include every language arts book a teacher uses and involve advisory labels placed on books that show content for violence, language, sexual content or adult situations, Gillian said.
"This is not the movie industry," said Nitro teacher Steve Shamblin. "You can tell what's in a book by opening a book and reading it."
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Friday, November 09, 2007
If you were around in 1974 or if you've read James Moffett's Storm in the Mountains, , Kanawha County, West Virginia will ring a bell. From Teacher Magazine: