May 10, 2021

Minnesota: Parents in New London-Spicer School District Want Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” Removed From Curriculum

UPDATED POST June 14: Minnesota School Board Votes 3-2 to Keep Book in the Classroom (via Grand Forks Herald)

In a 3-2 vote Monday the central Minnesota school board agreed to follow the recommendation of the school administration and allow “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” to remain as an option for teachers to use in the classroom.

The action doesn’t mean the book must be part of the curriculum, but that teachers can use it if they choose.

From Minnesota Public Radio:

In west-central Minnesota, the New London-Spicer School District provides an alternative lesson plan when parents object to a book being discussed in class. The objecting students leave the room and study somewhere else.

At issue now is the 2007 book, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie.

This week, a couple of parents told the school board the alternative lesson plan isn’t good enough — it amounted to “punishment” for their kids, they said — and they want the book removed from the eighth-grade curriculum. They say the book features “gratuitous and unnecessary” profanity and reference to sexual acts, the West Central Tribune reports.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Parents request removal of book from NLS curriculum (via West Central Tribune)

During a brief listening session Monday at the NLS School Board meeting, two individuals read prepared statements citing their objections to the book and asked that it be removed from the students’ required reading list.

[Clip]

In his comments, Carroll Sarsland said “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” should be replaced with a book that “does not contain passages that conflict with the traditional family values held by many in this community.”

[Clip]

As is the case with all issues presented during the public comment period, the School Board did not respond to the issue at the meeting but provided forms for the individuals to fill out as part of the process for the district to consider removal of material from the curriculum or library.

Once those official forms are returned, they will be reviewed by the district’s advisory committee, which includes parents, teachers and school administrators.

See Also: Read the Complete Article

In Wisconsin…

Wisconsinites Pack Board Meeting for Debate Over Absolutely True Diary (via CBLDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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