They say that you can’t fight city hall.
However, a group of parents concerned about what they say is a highly offensive book used in the Guilford County Schools’ AP English program are hoping they can get the book removed from the reading list after they address school library officials in an early morning meeting on Thursday, May 19.
Elena Wachendorfer, who has kids in the Guilford County school system, said she was alarmed when she began reading the book that her son was reading as part of the English program.
The book, “Salvage the Bones” by Jesmyn Ward, has won a National Book Award. However, Wachendorfer and other parents say there’s no way it should be part of a reading list for Guilford County Schools.
“I picked up the book and began reading it,” she said. “It wasn’t just one scene – it was 15 different ones from beginning to end. They were equally foul.”
Wachendorfer said the book contains a great deal of offensive language, disturbing themes and graphic sexual descriptions of sex involving a very young girl.
She also said the overall message was horribly depressing and added that, with literature like this in schools, it’s no wonder school children are so depressed and fraught with emotional problems.
“That book and any other book like it has no place in our kids’ classroom,” she said. “I won’t tolerate dumbing down my kids or filling them with perversion. I want to make sure that nothing like this happens again.”
Wachendorfer said that she and others had planned to show their opposition at a library committee meeting at Northern Guilford High School on Thursday morning, May 12, but that meeting had been postponed a week. School officials, she said, stated that some of the library committee members were needed to help administer tests due to some teachers being absent.
“I don’t know if they were trying to buy time,” Wachendorfer said.
She said that one opponent of the book had planned to speak to Guilford County Board of Education as a speaker from the floor this week and planned to read passages from the book aloud at the meeting, however, that speaker was unable to make it at the last minute.