Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Belleville School Board Votes to Keep Book on Ninth Grade Reading List

In a unanimous decision on Monday night, the Belleville School Board decided to keep "Staying Fat for Sara Byrnes" by Chris Crutcher as required reading for high school freshmen, according to a Channel3000 news report. Lori Beil, a district parent, had requested that the book be removed from the assigned reading, though she did not ask for its removal from the library. In a pre-recorded statement for the board, she said,  "I believe it would be better for the school to choose books without sex and profanity, that don't bash someone's religion. There are more noble and aspiring choices. Why am I doing this? I'm motivated by love. Love for my son, love for God and love for you, the people of my town."

Supporters of keeping the book included other parents and students who felt the book explored themes that were important for students to discuss. Randy Freese, school superintendent, said he felt the book took a balance approach in its exploration of bullying and other difficult issues.

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