CABARRUS COUNTY, North Carolina – A contentious debate over book policy in Cabarrus County schools took a turn last week when a council member read aloud a sexually explicit scene in one of the books available for students.
Board members asked their teenage interns to leave the room before reading a passage from “Looking for Alaska” by John Greene.
“I don’t feel comfortable leaving children under the age of 17 here,” board member Keshia Sandidge said.
“This book was in our school system, and I’m reading it to you transparently,” Vice President Laura Blackwell said. “And I transparently say two (of the books) are missing and I wonder where they are, and I guess they’re probably under a child’s mattress.”
This book will be the one that serves as an example and initiates the review process by the Literature Committee.
On Monday evening, the school board will hear first reading of a draft policy related to its ability to remove inappropriate literature and supplementary materials from circulation in the library.
A draft of the proposed policy says the board could review any media collection material and decide whether it should be removed from circulation in the library and moved to a parental approval section.
Books in this section will not be borrowed until approved in writing by the student’s parent or guardian.
Any removed material would be posted on the Cabarrus County website.
The chairman of the board said that no books had been banned.
However, some books were removed last spring while the board works to approve final revisions to the policy.
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