Families Call Local School Reading Material "Obscene"

CLARENCE, NY - Some families in the Clarence school district are raising concerns about what they feel is inappropriate material being taught in school. And, they plan to give an earful to district officials during a school board meeting Monday night.

The parents say the reading material is too graphic, obscene and vulgar for school teaching. One parent says she's disturbed by what some high school and middle schoolers are reading.

Ginger Lahti has four kids in the Clarence school district. She says that several books, essays, and commentaries that her kids have been told to read for class, include what she feels is inappropriate content.

One of the books is called "Year of Wonder" by Geraldine Brooks, which Lahti thought was obscene. She says she learned of the reading materials through her children when they received them in class. Her kids opted out of the reading, telling their teachers they were uncomfortable with the content.

"There should be some level of common decency that we all feel safe, we feel comfortable, we're taxpayers, we're paying for what's being taught in the schools, so we should have a say and tonight [Monday] I hope that's what we find out, does the community care about what their kids are being taught," said Lahti.

School board members plan to address Lahti's concerns. She's hoping there are some policy changes, so parents have more of a voice on what students read in class, before they get the reading.

Lahti says the school district has allowed her students to opt out of the reading and has provided other books as a substitute.

The board president issued a statement saying he thinks it's important not to take reading material out of context and to review the materials as a whole.

Tonight's school board meeting is at 7 p.m. at Clarence High.

Other materials that Lahti is concerned about include:

"A Modest Proposal," by Jonathan Swift

"The Good News Is: These Are Not The Best Years of Your Life!" by Gloria Steinem

"On Dumpster Diving," by Lars Eighner

"The Idea of World Citizenship," by Martha Nussbaum

"The Dirty Secret in Fraternity Drinking Songs," by Katrina Foley and Sheila Moreland

"Speak," by Laurie Halse Anderson

"The Scarlet Ibis," by James Hurst

"Farewell to Manzanar," by Jeanne Houston & James D. Houston

"Lord of the Kill," by Theodore Taylor

"The Outsiders," by S.E. Hinton

"The Road" by Cormac McCarthy

"Persepolis," by Marjane Satrapi

"Sex Education in our Schools," by J. Kuhn

"Beautiful Senoritas," by Delores Prida


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