- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) - Coeur d’Alene high school students will still be cracking open John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” even though a district committee recommended the classic be removed from classrooms.

The School Board voted 4 to 1 Monday to keep the 1937 book about two migrant ranch hands on the curriculum.

Trustee Terri Seymour was the only dissenter, saying she isn’t against the book in classrooms, but that it should only be taught in small groups.

Last month a district curriculum review committee recommended the novella be removed from the classroom due to profanity and dark themes deemed too much for ninth grade students.

However at the vote Trustee Dave Eubanks said in 13 years of tracking the book at Coeur d’Alene schools, no parent has complained and no families have requested their children read an alternate book, as is allowed by district policy.

At the meeting trustees discussed the need for more volunteers for the ad hoc committee that reviews books. They said the purpose of the review was to determine if the novels are at the appropriate grade level based on the complexity of the material and the expectations of Idaho’s Common Core standards.

One English teacher, Brianna Cline of Lake City High School, said the profanity in “Of Mice and Men” is an important teaching tool. She said she uses it as an opportunity to explain why racial slurs or derogatory terms for women are not acceptable.

“This is an incredibly important lesson,” Cline said.

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