- Associated Press - Saturday, October 25, 2014

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) - The best-selling novel “Ender’s Game” by author Orson Scott Card will still be part of a Mesa County school district language arts program after a special committee convened by the district voted to keep the text in the curriculum over the objections of a parent.

The review committee issued its opinion Friday after reading the text, interviewing members of the curriculum committee who originally chose the book and researching the training provided to educators to teach the text appropriately.

All but one member of the panel decided the book was appropriate for sixth-graders.

The parent who filed the initial complaint, Joy Porter, a former fifth-grade teacher, said she was appalled to read swear words and passages about characters renouncing religion and killing each other. Porter’s sixth-grade daughter at Orchard Mesa Middle School is 11 years old, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported Saturday (http://tinyurl.com/lbj5ts9 ).

The book is an anti-bullying tale set in the future featuring an interstellar battle between mankind and aliens in which Earth’s fate hinges on a group of young military cadets, led by a young man named Ender Wiggin, who is forced into making life and death decisions by his commanders. Reviewers also called it a message about tolerance, empathy and coping under pressure.

As an anchor text, the book is only read in class under the guidance of the teacher, according to the district.

The panel issued a statement saying the book was selected “because it would be challenging and would require careful in-class debate and discussion, which hones contextual and analytical skills of students.”

The district said alternatives are being developed for families that still have concerns about the text.

Although the panel’s decision is final, parents could file an appeal with the state Board of Education.

“Ender’s Game” will not be taught again until the third quarter, according to the district.

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Information from: The Daily Sentinel, http://www.gjsentinel.com

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