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For the Straffords

I am writing this comment for the Straffords and their supporters, so listen up. I am not here to mock you or knock you. I am here to ask some hard questions that I want you all to pay close attention to and actually answer. I don’t want the same old rehearsed answers or knee-jerk reactions. I want you all to breathe and think hard before replying to me. I am also a parent of a child in this class, so I have the same concerns and motivations you do. I have also waited a long time to post anything because I really thought this would blow over quickly, but you folks haven’t allowed it to so I thought it was time I spoke up along with the others. I respect any parent that pays attention to what is going on in their child’s life, BUT it is clear to anyone that is involved in all this that no matter what anyone’s objection to this book is, is that there was an alternative. Even if you weren’t immediately aware of this, once you were made aware of this, why didn’t you just take that alternative? Again, I am not knocking you, but really, can’t you see that by your not just accepting that and letting Elijah read another book and be done with it you created a situation that the community has now been able to use against you and are indeed rallying against you? This never had to happen, but you elected to go to the TV news and then continue the fight by emailing and calling parents (like myself) and insisting we all fall in line with you and get this book banned. You called my home, unsolicited, and told me things about this book that, quite honestly, ARE NOT IN THE BOOK ( I know this now because I read the book after you called me) and told me I HAD to agree with you and keep my daughter away from it. Wendy, did you really think this would work? Why didn’t you just let Elijah read the other book? Why did you take him out of Ashley and make him the butt of jokes and ridicule when all you had to do was elect for the other book? I understand your love and concern for your child, as I have as well, but why make this a personal war against the teacher and anyone that approves of the book? Why can’t you let US decide that for ourselves? And why lie to us about the content in the book? Did you think we wouldn’t read it for ourselves? You have taken to calling us and literally LYING about what is in this book! And then you told me I HAD to agree with you. You seemed so angry and I couldn’t understand why when your child never had to even read the book. You bought the book and had it for 2 weeks before you had an objection to it. Elijah told my daughter he liked the book and then called her and others and told them to watch him on TV and then posted on MySpace about his time on TV. Was this your idea of protecting him? Have you checked his MySpace lately? It seems a lot worse to me, as a fellow parent, than anything I read in Perks of Being A Wallflower! Wendy, no one is shaming you for protecting your child and you should know that at this point, but you refuse to admit it publicly. What we all have a problem with is that you will not admit that you had options, but refused them, and then chose to point fingers at the teacher and the school. They did nothing wrong, that I, as a parent, can see. Even if there was a break down in communication between you and the teacher, once you knew Elijah didn’t have to read the book, why not end it there? Why did you call WWAY yourself and then when that didn’t work you resort to calling all of us (the parents) and then TELL us we had to agree with you and not let our kids read the book either? Why go through the process of having it removed from the entire school system’s library book shelves? And why tell the TV news that wasn’t your intent when that is exactly the process you told me you were going through? That isn’t honest or honorable. Again, why can’t you or your supporters ever address this key point? ELIJAH NEVER HAD TO READ THE BOOK. Why do you feel you can now decide for the rest of us parents what our kids can read? You don’t. Just address this one point and this whole thing will be over. Unless you have another agenda that we don’t know about? Honestly… if he didn’t have to read it, the teacher and the principal told you he could read something else… then WHY did you continue to make a fight where there wasn’t one? Seriously, answer that. We know YOU don’t like the book, but so what? HE DIDN’T HAVE TO READ IT. ADDRESS THAT PLEASE.

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