Mary Jo Little thinks that The Glass Castle is inappropriate reading for ninth graders at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina.“There’s rape. There’s assault. There’s drunk driving. It’s just not appropriate in this age group,” Little told Channel 9.
The Glass Castle is a popular curriculum choice, but also a frequently contested one. Its bleak descriptions of poverty, sexual abuse, alcoholism, and its vibrant array of profanity make it an easy target for those who choose to cherry pick the less savory parts. But taken out of context, the work’s greater messages of family, unconditional love, and hope are lost, as are the many teachable moments found in discussing hunger, bullying, and assault.
Little was unaware the book was required reading for her daughter’s class until she found it in her kitchen. “When my child went to sexual education class, I had to sign a permission slip and that doesn’t hold a candle to what they discussed in [the book],” Little said.
She plans to attend the next school board meeting in February since a ban on the book requires action at the district level. Little wants to have board members read portions of The Glass Castle aloud, to help convince them of her claim.
CBLDF will keep you up to date as this develops, but check out our victory in Marshfield, Wisconsin last year keeping The Glass Castle in classrooms!