Community outraged over book assigned in a Rockingham County high school English class

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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- Parents, churches and community leaders are outraged over a book being taught in a high school English class in Rockingham County.

The book is called "Beartown," and it's being taught in a sophomore honors English class at McMichael High School.

“What he read, to say the least, is some of the most repulsive reading that you’ll ever be exposed to,” Pastor Ron Tuck said to his congregation.

Sunday evening services at Lawsonville Road Baptist Church ended on a different note. After the prayers, Pastor Tuck delivered a serious message concerning the book, "Beartown" by Fredrik Backman.

The book is about a junior ice hockey team, and its impact on a small town riddled with issues.

“If you read the back of this book where it tells you something about the book, it’s very interesting,” Don Powell said. “When you open it up, you can see by the pages that I’ve marked, it’s just filled with garbage.”

We can't show you many of the words in the passages people have concerns about. When Don Powell read them, he decided to take action. He reached out to four churches to help him bring these concerns to the Rockingham County school board meeting.

“It was pretty devastating to me that this is something we are teaching in a high school English class. I think it’s degrading to women, it’s degrading to men,” Powell said.

They are also concerned with some of the themes in the book.

“Nowhere is this kind of language permitted. The state of the world that we’re in with the Me Too movement and bullying, this book speaks of those issues and condones them,” Pastor Tuck said.

School board chair Amanda Bell said a new teacher assigned the book. She said it was not on the approved book list, but the teacher was not aware of the procedures before assigning this particular book.

Board member Brent Huss told FOX8, he has not received any confirmation the book has been taken off the reading list.

"As a parent of two children in our school system, I am appalled such reading material would ever be considered," Huss said.

The Lawsonville Road Baptist Church is planning to take a van of people to the school board meeting Monday night to address this.

“This provides nothing wholesome for their life. So as a church, as believers, as a party. It is up to us to do what we can to protect the children in this county,” Powell said.

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