Let's be parents here. Your kid is called out of class and told to hand a book over. Does that bother you, just a little bit? A kid being singled out over a book? This story is a little worse than that.

The book was actually on an approved reading list for a project, yet the kid was called out by two adults so they could confiscate the book. What in the Fahrenheit 451 is going on at Coronado High School? I'll let you read the parent's statement to me, then we'll ask a few more questions. I have replaced the minor's name with asterisks.


So ***** checked this book from the Coronado High School library last week or the week before. So they had a nonfiction project for English and this book was among the books which were specifically set aside as being acceptable to meet the project criteria. So ***** checked out the book, has had it at least a week, possibly longer and the Librarian, and an Administrator came to his 7th period english class today and called the teacher into the hall. A few minutes later the teacher walks over to ***** and asks if ***** has his non-fiction book. ***** says yes and the teacher says grab it and come out here with me, you're not in trouble. The administrator was doing all the talking and introduced herself and then said that the school has been receiving complaints about this book and that central office instructed her to come and take the book from *****.

Doesn't the concept of banning books bother you? Wasn't this something we were taught was one of the worst things that could be done? Why was the parent not contacted first? Doesn't having a book banned by "the central office" sound a little ominous to you? This is just a messed-up situation that was handled poorly by those involved.

I have news for you school officials and the people who complained about the book: you just made this the most popular book at Coronado High School, and there are plenty of people willing to buy students copies of it. If you want to keep your students dumb, go for it, but the rest of the parents and the kids themselves know that knowledge is as close as the local bookstore or the internet.

One final thing...did you notice how I didn't name the book? That's because it doesn't matter. Once this door is opened, it becomes a very dangerous path. Other than the child's parents, it's no one else's business what the kid is reading. It really makes you wonder how many books were "lost" by school librarians and administrators because it's the easiest way to deal with a complaint. These things could be handled in a much better manner.

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