This article originally appeared on the Missouri News-Leader site on 7/26/11. [Publetariat Editor’s Note: sadly, censorship is alive and well in American schools.]
REPUBLIC — Two of the three Republic High books singled out in a public complaint last year will now be removed from the school curriculum and library.
Shortly before 9 p.m. Monday, the school board voted 4-0 — three members were absent — to keep Laurie Halse Anderson’s "Speak," an award-winning book about date rape, and remove Kurt Vonnegut’s "Slaughterhouse Five" and Sarah Ockler’s "Twenty Boy Summer."
Wesley Scroggins, a Republic resident, challenged the use of the books and lesson plans in Republic schools, arguing they teach principles contrary to the Bible.
"I congratulate them for doing what’s right and removing the two books," said Scroggins, who didn’t attend the board meeting. "It’s unfortunate they chose to keep the other book."
Superintendent Vern Minor said the vote brings a conclusion to the complaint filed a year ago. Scroggins told the News-Leader he has yet to give any thought to pursuing this further.
In making a recommendation to remove the two, Minor explained that "numerous individuals have read the three novels and provided their feedback." He conceded there wasn’t always consensus about what step to take.
"We had some differences of opinion, I’ll be honest with you," he said.