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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” will stay in the curriculum and on the shelves in Brunswick County Schools following a formal challenge of the novel.

According to Brunswick County Schools spokeswoman Jessica Swencki, West Brunswick High School Principal Brock Ahrens received the official challenge of the novel last Wednesday after weeks of discussion about whether the book is appropriate for study in AP courses.

Swencki says the Board of Education’s policy says this kind of challenge process begins at the school level. She says members of West Brunswick High’s School Improvement Team and its media coordinator reviewed the challenge yesterday. Swencki says during the review, committee members were required to read the book in its entirety before discussing the challenge and making a decision.

Based on that review, Swencki says the committee decided unanimously that the novel will remain in the curriculum and part of the media collection.

Swencki adds that according to school board policy, “parents in Brunswick County absolutely retain the final say with regard to their children’s exposure to works of literature,” and that alternate reading assignments are always available at parental request.

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