The Kids’ Right to Read Project (KRRP) celebrated the return of Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Simon & Schuster) to middle school classroom libraries in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. District 41 school board members voted 6-1 to reverse a ban on the book at their meeting yesterday.
Perks was effectively banned on April 29 by the outgoing Glen Ellyn school board in a 4-2 vote that rejected the recommendation of an ad hoc book evaluation committee composed of teachers, a principal and a librarian.
There was strong opposition to the ban. Almost 700 people, many of them Glen Ellyn residents, signed a petition on Change.org to restore access to the book. KRRP aided the grassroots movement to have the ban reconsidered and then reversed by organizing supporters, writing letters about the legal implications of the ban, consulting with teachers and administrators about policies and best practices, bolstering a student-led online media campaign and mediating between interested parties.
“We are thrilled with the outcome of the vote,” said Acacia O’Connor, Kids’ Right to Read Project Coordinator. “What was most impressive, however, was the energy and courage demonstrated by the supporters on the ground in Glen Ellyn: middle school and high school students, English teachers, media resource specialists and parents. It was fantastic to work with such a committed and passionate group of people.”