This article, by Karen Daily, originally appeared on aikenstandard.com on 3/14/12.
Schofield teacher on leave after parent complains of ‘pornographic’ book
A Schofield Middle School teacher has been placed on administrative leave while officials investigate whether the teacher breached school policy or the law when he read to his class from a science fiction book described by one parent as pornographic.
Sources said the teacher read from three books, among them"Ender’s Game" by Orson Scott Card, as part of the district’s literacy initiative program. Card’s 1985 novel won several science fiction awards and is listed on numerous children’s literary review websites as appropriate for children 12 and up.
The teacher reportedly selected the books, but may have not followed school policy that would require the books first be reviewed.
Joy Shealy, school district academic officer for middle schools, said there is a policy that defines steps teachers ought to take when presenting supplemental material.
"One of the things that teachers are supposed to do is preview material for appropriateness for any questions that may come up," Shealy said. "By doing that, we make sure the materials that are presented to students are age and instructionally appropriate – all the things that make a good instructional program."
The incident that came to light this week involved a student’s complaint concerning materials characterized by the student and the parent as pornographic, according to a press release issued by the school district.
"The complaint was communicated to the school Friday and followed by a conference with the school administration Friday afternoon," according to the district’s statement.
The administration gathered a written statement from the student, which is normal procedure, and initiated an immediate investigation, according to the administration.
After reviewing the student’s statement, school officials indicated that the investigation would continue, school administrators stated this week.
Administrators were reportedly concerned with the report that the books had curse words and terms in them that might not be age appropriate.