NCAC has written to officials at Fredericksburg Independent School District in Texas after numerous books were removed from district libraries without a formal review based on arguments that they are “pervasively vulgar.”
The books in question, which include, among others, Jesse Andrews’s Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, address issues that students or their families and friends often confront in their daily lives. To allow one or two administrators to remove such books without ensuring that they hear from those who might benefit from them ignores the obligations of the school district to serve the needs of all its students.
The formal review process is essential for resolving disputes over the suitability of a book. ”Pervasively vulgar” is a very vague term, and different people can disagree as to whether a book includes “vulgar” material, and also whether that material is “pervasive.” It is for this reason that the reviews are conducted with input from a variety of individuals, including teachers, parents, community members, and students.
NCAC is urging the District to return books to library shelves and to make clear to all district personnel that compliance with board regulations is not optional. Read our full letter to the District below. Click here for a full-screen view: