Parent objects to best-selling novel in North Carolina classroom

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A committee will meet next week to determine whether or not a best-selling novel containing sensitive material has a place in a Buncombe County classroom.

School officials said The Kite Runner was being taught as a supplementary text in a 10th -grade honors English class at A.C. Reynolds High School in April when a parent filed a formal objection to the book.

Susanne Swanger, associate superintendent of curriculum, said The Kite Runner has been on the Buncombe County Schools’ High School Approved Reading list for years and this is the first documented objection to the book.

“Some may object to the book’s elements of homosexuality, some offensive language, religious viewpoints, and sexually explicit scenes; however, these contextual elements of the store serve to shape the characters’ decisions later in life,” Swanger said. “Educators say controlled classroom discussions of these ‘real world’ topics may help students understand the challenges faced by those who triumph in spite of traumatic and adverse childhood experiences.”

Although the book was part of required reading, Swanger said parents had the choice to opt their child out of participating in the assignment and, if they chose to do so, an alternative reading assignment would be given. The teacher in the English class sent home a letter on April 27 offering for parents to opt their students out of reading The Kite Runner.

Two days later, a parent filed a formal objection to the use of the book in the classroom. Swanger said, per Buncombe County Schools policy, once this type of objection is filed, the teacher cannot use the book until a review has been completed.

The Media Technology Advisory Committee will meet on May 11 to review the complaint and determine whether or not The Kite Runner will be allowed back in the classroom.

Source: WHNS