Brunswick Co. School Board mulls community advisory committee

BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) -- Months of controversy over "The Color Purple" prompted the Brunswick County Board of Education to take a look at changing some policies.

Today the board decided not to amend two policies dealing with course material for now.

Athough the board upheld current policies, members talked about creating a community advisory committee. If another challenge in the future reaches the board, this committee would advise them.

As it stands now if a parent has an issue with their child's readings they take it to the school level. Then if the challenge continues it goes to the superintendent and then before the board. This is where the proposed committee would come in to advise the board in the decision making process.

"That transparency and things that will come from this conversation will really be great tools for our system in the future," district spokeswoman Jessica Swencki said.

For the future curriculum coaches and English teachers are also working to create an annotated bibliography for next year. It would include why a particular book was on the reading list, why teach it in the class room, the literary merit of the selection and why it is on the most challenged list if it is at all.

"We have learned that we need to make sure that parents are fully aware of how they can access this information," Swencki said.

Through this lengthy process, leaders say the conversation has not only been a learning experience for them but has also shed light on parent's rights to opt their child out of a reading assignment.

The district suggests parents also take an active part in finding out more about the books their children are reading in school.

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Funny how the-- board of education--- would need to be advised on how to handle there own business as needed. Why have a seat on this so called board if you need advise from someone else? Daddy always said if you don't lead then get out of the way. This could be used across the whole county from our house of reps--hey BILL RABON--down to the board of education. Please remove your self and quit trying to be something you are not-- A leader is what I mean if you don't get the picture-- you make us all look bad here in Brunswick county!!

Just be wary of a certain English teacher at West. She gets rather upset when outspoken, conservative Christians object to her choices.

As well she should. Said outspoken Christians should send their child to private Christian Schools, or choose the alternate book if they object to her choices. Otherwise keep your religious views at home or in your church.

The child in question didn't state that her objection to the book was religious. There were other students in the class who had requested alternate books and the teacher agreed without issue. I believe one of the other students was a relation and another one was the child of a friend. And the religious views had come only up in class when some social topics were discussed. Yet, the teacher blew her stack when the child in question simply requested an alternate book.

As far as where the child's parents send ther to school, if her parents could afford private school, then they would have sent her to private school. If the state approves vouchers, then the parents may have the viable option to send her to a private school. Christians have the same rights to public education as every other child. Christians have the same rights to express their views in class when other children are expressing their views. Christians have the same rights as all other children to be free from verbal abuse from teachers.

You said the child in question didn't object to the book on religious principles. In the next paragraph you state the opposite. We, as Christians, have every right to state our opinion in class or anywhere. What we don't have is the right to use our religion to set public school curriculum. Again, if someone wishes for their child to have a religious education (whether that religion is Christianity, Muslim, Judaism, etc) there are options available such as Private Schools or home schooling that do not breach the principle of Separation of Church and State.

These people do realize that one of the most challenged author's in US history is Judy Blume right? Nearly all of the American classics have been challenged, and most have been banned, throughout history. I would love to know what books this woman (the board member who started this mess months ago) deems "appropriate". Particularly when she admitted to not even reading The Color Purple before challenging it because she was so offended by the language. I mean, the movie is just as good right? Idiots.

We shouldn't change school policies based on the views of one book Nazi. Well, two book Nazis. Quagglia and her puppet Sykes.