A reading assignment for 14-year-olds at an American high school sparked outrage from parents, who called the work “pornographic.” It’s about the novel ‘The advantages of being an outcast’ (‘The advantages of being invisible’, in Latin America) by Stephen Chbosky, who talks about rape and abortion and has been questioned or banned by numerous entities every year since 2003.
Parents of students at Eastlake High School in El Paso (Texas) stated that the book should not be assigned to such a young age group, especially without parental consent. “I am concerned that my son’s English teacher assigned him a very inappropriate book. No parental consent form was sent to be signed. He basically said that the book was graphic and that they should act like adults. ” he claimed this Wednesday to the KTSM-TV channel Elda Marmolejos, mother of one of those enrolled in the school.
In the woman’s opinion, “the content is very inappropriate”, since “it talks about sex, drugs, alcohol and child abuse” and it is detailed “that an adolescent is raped and that she is going to have an abortion without the consent of her parents.” “It is very graphic and inappropriate for such a young age group to read and access it in a Texas public school,” he added.
Marmolejos explained that he met with the school’s principal and librarians, as well as with the Socorro Independent School District board, who, he assures, tried to “defend” the teacher and to convince her that they complied with the center’s policies. “We are validating why you chose that book; we want to review all the legal and local policies,” said a school administrator during a meeting, which was recorded by the mother.
“Is this content appropriate for a freshman? I think we both agree that it is very, very questionable. It is probably not the most appropriate,” said another school administrator referring to the novel. in 2012 it was adapted for screen into a hit movie starring Emma Watson, Ezra Miller and Logan Lerman.
For his part, the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, told local media that he gave an order to remove pornography from schools and to initiate investigations in those schools that kept it on the shelves.
“Parents want their children to go to school and learn not to be indoctrinated in something that involves pornography. My job as governor and the job of education leaders in the state is to make sure that we are educating our children to be competitive in the job market, not indoctrinate them with things like pornography, “he said.
Meanwhile, Socorro Independent School District officials explained that its policy allows parents to request a formal review after the informal research that was done on this particular book. They added that the school and district are reviewing how parents are notified about books of a graphic nature that are used in class.