BOOK BAN? Pasco parents object to assigned book

DADE CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – Parents of seventh-grade students at Pasco Middle School in Dade City say an assigned book is too racy. While five Pasco County schools currently have “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” that could change.

The parents say “Perks” is not fit for young eyes. The parents have said the book has too much sex, drugs and drinking.

The book was released in 1999 and made into a movie in 2012. Other schools throughout the country have banned it.

A substitute advanced language arts teacher at Pasco Middle assigned her 22 students to read it. “It’s a common practice for the teachers to review anything that they assign to students before they assign it,” Pasco County Schools Spokesperson Linda Cobb said.

That didn’t happen. Two parents objected, triggering a review by a special committee. A committee made up of administrators, teachers and parents will meet Monday and make a recommendation.

“It does have some value but you have to consider your audience. So that’s why we have the committee so they can decide, is it appropriate for any students at all?” Cobb explained.

Across the street from Pasco Middle School, Jacquelynne Harris told News Channel 8 it’s fine for parents to be aware of what students are reading. However, she believes kids need to be exposed to lessons on life.

“They want to hide these things from these kids that are going through these exact situations. What better to read than something? I mean, the parents aren’t going to explain it to ’em at home; they’re gonna hide it from them,” Harris said.

A parent of a Pasco Middle students doesn’t think the school school remove the book. “I think for seventh and eighth graders, kids nowadays are growing up a little bit earlier. So I think that we need to kind of be, quit being a little bit sensitive about everything. It seems how the world works nowadays,” Mirna Manriguez said.

The principal at Pasco Middle held a faculty meeting to remind everybody about the procedure on assigning books.

In addition, a letter went home to parents in the class about the book.


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