By Amanda Claire Curcio
A principal’s ad-hoc decision to pull a summer reading assignment after a handful of parents slammed the book’s content and language is calling into question Leon County Schools’ censorship bylaws.
The book – an award-winning and critically acclaimed 2003 British novel, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” by Mark Haddon – is narrated by a 15-year-old mathematical whiz with cognitive disabilities, similar to autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, who relays what he sees and hears in an almost emotionless way, including when adults around him curse or doubt the existence of God.
Critics of the decision say that dropping the assignment without going through a committee review process violates district bylaws and sets a troubling precedent.
“This case is very startling. A handful of parents are making choices for every other parent in that school,” said Sarah Hoffman, a National Coalition Against Censorship program manager. “There is a reason policies are in place – to protect educators and the decisions they make.
“This seems like a knee-jerk reaction,” she added.
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