- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Police in the South Carolina town of Mount Pleasant are furious over a school’s summer reading list they view as anti-cop indoctrination.

Fraternal Order of Police Tri-County Lodge #3 President John Blackmon told a local NBC affiliate this week that livid parents contacted him regarding Wando High School’s summer reading list. He says two of four books offered to incoming freshmen for an English I class sow distrust of law enforcement in their fertile minds.

“Freshmen, they’re at the age where their interactions with law enforcement have been very minimal,” told the Charleston station on Monday. “They’re not driving yet, they haven’t been stopped for speeding, they don’t have these type of interactions. This is putting in their minds. It’s almost an indoctrination of distrust of police and we’ve got to put a stop to that.”

At issue are Angie Thomas’ “The Hate U Give” and “All American Boys,” by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.

The former title features a teenager whose best friend is killed by a police offer; the latter includes a “fist-happy” copy who mistakes a boy for a shoplifter.

Students are required to read one of four books before the start of the school year.

“Whether it be through social media, whether it be through text message, whether it be phone calls, we’ve received an influx of tremendous outrage at the selections by this reading list,” Mr. Blackmon added. “[School officials] want to focus half of their effort on negativity towards the police? That seems odd to me.”

Wando Principal Dr. Sherry Eppelsheimer released a statement saying a Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials” has been received.

“I understand two of the selections/choices for this summer’s reading list for English 1 College Prep classes are considered controversial by some members of our community. I appreciate their concern and input regarding this matter,” she wrote.

The station noted that a committee will review the material and give a recommendation to the Superintendent.

“The committee will hear from the parent who filed the complaint, the teacher who assigned the material, and any other experts on the subject,” the station reported.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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