Last week, CBLDF joined the Kids Right to Read Project on a letter defending Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian after it was challenged in a Wisconsin school district. This week brings good news: The district superintendent has upheld a review committee’s decision to keep the book in the curriculum.
A review committee at Sauk Prairie High School in Prairie du Sac had already voted 8-5 in favor of keeping Absolutely True Diary after a pair of parents in the district challenged it for “shocking words of profanity, sexual innuendo and violence.” The KRRP letter was addressed to Superintendent Cliff Thompson, who was tasked with making a decision about the fate of the book based on the review committee’s advice.
“I had the special opportunity to read and consider the contents and opinions of many e-mail messages, voicemail messages and share in conversations in person or by phone,” wrote Thompson in a letter addressed to the complainants before he affirmed the committee’s decision. “I, as District Administrator, concur with the committee’s recommendation…”
Thompson also committed to working with school administrators to ensure that information about course materials are included in course syllabi and that alternative assignment policies are consistent going forward. He also reminded the parents that they can request that their child not participate in assignments if the assignments conflict with the parents’ values or religious beliefs.
The parents who filed the complaint have the option to appeal the decision to the district school board. A written appeal must be submitted within 30 days of Thompson’s letter.
Superintendent Thompson shared the letter via Twitter, and it appears below. CBLDF will continue to follow the case if the parents decide to appeal.