- Associated Press - Friday, December 2, 2016

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - The Dubuque Community School District will not remove a book from its curriculum after more than 100 people gathered to review a book that some found troubling for its description of sexual activity and drug use.

Jodi Lockwood, the parent who sought the review, ultimately withdrew her request Thursday after concluding most people wanted “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky retained. Lockwood said she asked for the review because she wanted a conversation about it to take place.

“The inundation of obscenity and pornography has a numbing effect, and now it’s making its way into our assigned educational material for minors,” she said at the beginning of the meeting.

A school district committee made up of teachers, parents and students unanimously voted against removing the book, The Telegraph Herald (https://bit.ly/2gvuh9S ) reported.

District parent Heather Gudenkauf said while the subject matter of the book is tough, it’s honest rather than offensive. Gudenkauf said the classroom is a safe place for the issues in the book to be discussed.

“The classroom is the exact place where you want to have those conversations so (students) can be well-equipped to know how to handle those situations when they are faced in everyday life,” she said. “Books give us the safety of fiction to think through and talk about these scenarios.”

Dubuque County Library director Mike Wright attributed the book’s lasting popularity to the subject matter resonating with the students. He also added that alternatives are available.

The book is a coming-of-age novel, and was on the American Library Association’s list of the top 100 challenged and banned books from 2000 to 2009.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, https://www.thonline.com


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