BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County grandmother who lost her challenge of a book used in a middle school last year has lodged a new protest of the novel at a county high school.
In an e-mail sent to the Brunswick County School Board, Superintendent Les Tubb and area news media, Frances Wood says she and her husband have asked administrators at West Brunswick High School to take “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie out of the school.
“This book is very offensive to any moral person,” Wood wrote in a letter to Principal Brock Ahrens and Media Coordinator Carol Desmond. “It describes sexual practices, has references to sexual behavior (bestiality) that is against the law in the state of NC, has offensive language, has negative remarks about the religious practices of Christians and Jews and has bullying along with other offensive references. It has derogatory statements about blacks and Indians and definitely shows racism.”
Wood, who says she has a grandchild who will attend West Brunswick next year, made a similar argument last year when challenging the use of the book at Cedar Grove Middle School. The school denied her request, which Wood appealed to then-Superintendent Edward Pruden. When Pruden ruled against her, she appealed to the Brunswick County School Board. Board members decided the novel will stay in schools, but a student must have a parent’s permission to check the book out of the library.
“The (Board of Education) approved a policy revision at the March 31 meeting that addresses how the system responds and manages book challenges,” Brunswick County Schools spokeswoman said in a statement to WWAY. “We will follow our process.”
Supporters say the book, which won a National Book Award and is a NY Times Best Seller, is acclaimed as an accurate depiction of bullying and racism, but Wood said the book is not morally acceptable and inappropriate for 8th grade students.