Book Battle in Brenham

By: Toni Harrison
By: Toni Harrison

"The books that are required reading contain some objectionable language, language that the students would not be allowed to speak," said Darren Donaldson, parent.

Donaldson has a daughter in the ninth grade. Once he became aware of the books on the reading list, he took his concerns to the school board.

"We basically expressed our concern in regards to the double standard, in regards to the foul language, the sexuality," said Donaldson.

Donaldson says the books don't promote good character among students; he equates them to rated R movies.

"If there was an R rated movie they wouldn't be allowed to show that at the schools. One of the books was made into a movie and it is R rated," said Donaldson.

The books were chosen from a list of more than 20 all recommended by the College Board. The school district says if a student or parent objects, they can choose a different book from the same list.

"When they show that concern to us what we do is we give them a chance to have an alternative reading book and an alternative assignment," said Jon Forsythe, Brenham ISD.

But for Donaldson, the district is still setting a bad example.

"There needs to be a little more academic wisdom. We're not trying to censor anything we just want a little more responsibility that goes with our freedom," said Donaldson.

The district says they are sensitive to the concerns, but the books are part of the curriculum and they can't promise the books will be taken off the reading list.

"I can't give you that answer right now, but I can tell you that when there's an awareness of what's in books we're going to take a look and see," said Forsythe.

Brenham ISD has a curriculum advisor who reviews required reading lists each year. That means, for now, those objecting will have to choose another book to read.


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