The sci-fi novel Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card will not be banned from the curriculum in Colorado’s Mesa County Valley School District, a review committee decided with an 8-1 vote last week. The book, which is read and discussed in 6th grade language arts classes, was recently challenged by a parent and former 5th grade teacher who complained of profanity and “passages about characters renouncing religion and killing each other.”
Before voting, the review committee read the book, talked to members of the curriculum committee that originally approved it, and looked into the training that teachers receive before using it in class. Along with the announcement that Ender’s Game would be retained, the committee also issued a statement saying that educators initially selected the book “because it would be challenging and would require careful in-class debate and discussion, which hones contextual and analytical skills of students.”
To address the remaining concerns of some parents, the school district is currently developing alternate assignments that may be selected for individual students. Kudos to Mesa County for trusting the judgment of its professional educators while calmly reaching a solution that should satisfy everyone!
Contributing Editor Maren Williams is a reference librarian who enjoys free speech and rescue dogs.