BOLIVA, NC (WWAY) — The debate over the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Color Purple” continues in Brunswick County, but so far it looks like all the debate may be much ado about nothing.
Despite complaints from parents, students and community members earlier this month at a board of education meeting, a formal challenge has not been submitted to remove this book from schools.
At a committee meeting Tuesday, the school board reviewed its policy for challenging instructional materials.
No recommendations were made to amend the policy, but there was a recommendation to possibly establish an advisory committee to review appeals should they reach that level of challenge.
Superintendent Edward Pruden says he thinks “The Color Purple” should be taught in schools to the appropriate age group.
“I think for students 16 years old and older and who have a teacher to guide them through the study of the book, it can be done in an appropriate manner, and to their educational benefit,” Dr. Pruden said.
But Brunswick County Commissioner Marty Cooke disagrees.
“To put it another way, one can eat from a cafeteria or a dumpster, but one would hope those placed in charge of our children would have exercised better oversight,” Cooke wrote in an e-mail to a concerned parent.
Cooke told us the entire e-mail states his opinion. He said “The Color Purple” is simply too graphic for students.
School Board member John Thompson says he has not read the book cover to cover. He says he understands why people would be upset, but he also understands its educational value.
“Good literature can be rough at times,” Thompson said.
Pruden says parents always have the final say when it comes to their child.
The board will discuss the reccommended procedure changes at their next meeting Dec. 17.