Lee elementary checking library for inappropriate books – The News-Press
Human error is to blame for why a 10-year-old student was able to check out a book riddled with profanity, violence and sexually explicit language from his elementary school two weeks ago.
The fifth-grader borrowed a book called Ã¢Â€ÂœGeneration Kill: Devil Dogs, Iceman, Captain America, and the New Face of American WarÃ¢Â€Â from Hancock Creek Elementary SchoolÃ¢Â€Â™s media center. Written by Evan Wright, the book was made into a HBO mini-series in 2008, and tells the stories of U.S. Marines in the First Recon Battalion in Bahgdad.
Ã¢Â€ÂœWe do apologize to our parents for this mistake,Ã¢Â€Â said Principal Cynthia Phillips-Luster. Ã¢Â€ÂœIt was not done on purpose, and weÃ¢Â€Â™re in the process of fixing it.Ã¢Â€Â
She said new books were ordered for the school media center last year, with teachers and students making recommendations to the media personnel on what they would like to see in the library.
Wanting to beef up the variety of genres and the number of accelerated reader books on campus, an unnamed employee in charge of ordering the books Ã¢Â€ÂœdidnÃ¢Â€Â™t pay close enough attention to the titles and the authors,Ã¢Â€Â Phillips-Luster said. Instead, the focus was put on Ã¢Â€Âœreadability level.Ã¢Â€Â
The book is not recommended for readers under the age of 18,Ã‚Â according to Pegasus Books.
The principal said a plan has been put in place to review all the titles in the library to ensure they are deemed appropriate for a young audience.
But the damage has already been done, said Joseph Ball, the student’s father.Ã‚Â Ã¢Â€ÂœMy son cannot unread those words.”
The book features an image of young, uniformed men on the cover, with a subtitle listing the familiar character Ã¢Â€ÂœCaptain America.Ã¢Â€Â The child, who is really into learning about the military, showed his father the book, leading to a discussion about patriotism and how the boyÃ¢Â€Â™s great-grandfather was one of the oldest U.S Marine recruits at the age of 41.
Days later, however, the child said he no longer wanted to read the book, saying the book was “full of bad words.” When he made a formal complaint at the school, Ball says he was thrown out of a meeting with the principal.Ã‚Â He later received a certified letter through the mail requesting a follow-up meeting, but refused.
Ã¢Â€ÂœI was not comfortable coming down there again,Ã¢Â€Â he said.
The father also complained to the district office, sending emails to all the school board members, the superintendent and the executive director of elementary schools on the issue.
Ã¢Â€ÂœI have yet to have one person say theyÃ¢Â€Â™re sorry my son got that book,” he said. “I have the right to get an answer when I lodge a formal complaint. It makes me wonder if this happened to anyone else, or everyone else.Ã‚Â ItÃ¢Â€Â™s just sad.Ã¢Â€Â
Although there are many books in school libraries parents and community members may object to for one reason or another, district spokeswoman Amity Chandler said nobody recalls something like this happening before.Ã‚Â Ã¢Â€ÂœItÃ¢Â€Â™s human error,Ã¢Â€Â she added.
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