Jerome school considers removing book from library
Jerome Middle school considered removing a book from the library after a student found the material inappropriate and uncomfortable.
The sixth grade student told his teacher the book, a volume of the manga series "Sword Art Online" had pictures and language that made him uncomfortable.
The teacher followed school district procedure and filled out a reconsideration of library materials form for the student.
The district then formed a committee to discuss what to do about the book.
the committee consisted of a representative from the English, science and social studies departments at the school as well as two community members, and Janet Avery, the Curriculum Director for the Jerome School District.
Avery told KMVT each committee member read the book, and they decided that the materials the student found offensive, in the context of the story, were appropriate to have in the library.
Avery said that on a middle school level these decisions can be difficult because students range from eleven to fourteen and the maturity levels are hugely varied. The school district said they want to do what's best for all of their students.
"You want to be sure that all the students have a balanced opportunity to read things that interest them," Avery said.
The district received a letter from the National Coalition Against Censorship urging them to keep the book.
The writer of the letter told KMVT for them it wasn't just about the one book.
"We just felt that it was necessary to help defend the book in order to help both promote the right of children to access reading materials and just to help these librarians out to help basically defend this notion that it’s the librarians who should be deciding what’s in the library," said Josh Zuckerman, from the NCAC Youth Free Expression Program.
Both parties agreed that in the end the parents of the students should have the final say in what is appropriate for their child to read, and should monitor that with their children.