Mom urges school board to ban 80 books.

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Mom urges school board to ban 80 books.

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Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Eighty books in high school library stacks are corrupting students with tales of abortion, homosexuality and atheism. That's according to a West Palm Beach mother who has appealed to the school board to remove the books from the shelves of Dreyfoos and Royal Palm Beach high schools.

Laura Lopez has been fighting since September to ban these books that she says "promote sin and lies."

Committees at both schools have already shot down her request. So has Superintendent Art Johnson. On Wednesday, she will ask the full school board to intervene.

Palm Beach County School District staff can't recall any book challenges reaching the school board in at least seven years.

Lopez admits she hasn't read a single one of the objectionable books cover-to-cover.

In her appeal, she quotes scripture and blames the Columbine school shootings, drugs, bullies, teenage pregnancy and other ills on what she considers the removal of God from schools.

She targets literary genres ranging from reference books to short stories. Among the books she wants removed are "Medical Ethics: Moral and Legal Conflicts in Health Care," "Warriors of God: Richard the Lionhearted and Saladin in the Third Crusade," "Coping When a Parent is Gay" and "The Cider House Rules," a John Irving novel about a rural doctor who runs an orphanage and performs illegal abortions.

Lopez said the book challenges stemmed from a basic interest in the types of books in her sons' school libraries.

So, she went to the computerized card catalogue and typed in the keywords "homosexuality," "abortion" and "atheism." She was shocked by the dozens of titles that popped up.

"My kids are going to school to learn, not to become a homosexual or an abortion doctor or an atheist," she said.

Lopez requested a meeting with Royal Palm Beach High Principal Jose Garcia.

During the meeting, she didn't name any specific titles, but was generally concerned about the kinds of literature students were being exposed to in the school library, Garcia said.

He told her he couldn't simply pull books off the shelves based on her complaint.

Parents who want to challenge library books or classroom materials must file a written request for reconsideration with the school where the objectionable book, movie or other material was found. Then the principal convenes a committee of parents, students and staff members, which evaluates the objection, reads reviews from professional journals and consults school board policy.

In Lopez's case, committees at Dreyfoos and Royal Palm, where she two teenage sons attended, found no merit in her objections. They said she did not cite specific passages to which she objected, as required, and noted that board policy dictates that materials be chosen to represent "all points of views." Rather than referencing specific pages, Lopez included mostly general comments.

In her objection to "Am I Blue?: Coming out from the Silence," a collection of 18 short stories about gay and lesbian issues, Lopez wrote: "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, and not Eve and Sue."

Lopez appealed the decisions of Garcia and Dreyfoos Principal Ellen Van Arsdale to Johnson. He sided with the principals.

Lopez said she doesn't know what her chances are before the school board.

Even within her own home, reaction is split.

"My oldest son doesn't believe in God," she said. "I guess he kind of thinks I'm stupid."

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such a fuss over books. And Harry Potter will teach your kids to follow Satan! (Sarcasm)
This is just as bad as atheists trying to get rid of the 10 commandments, or taking the word God out of the pledge.

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caposkia wrote:This is just

[quote=caposkia]This is just as bad as atheists trying to get rid of the 10 commandments, or taking the word God out of the pledge. [/quote]

There's a big difference between secular and strictly atheistic. If I don't want to say the "under God" phrase in the pledge, I shouldn't have to. If other students want to, fine with me.

If I went around saying that we shouldn't just take out the word God from the pledge, we should do something like putting in, "I deny existence of God" that would be wrong, since Christians would be forced to say that they deny the existence of god. But when the pledge is simply secular without any mention of God, both theists and atheists can say it without feeling offended. I don't care if theists want to say "under God" privately, it's their choice. Just let me have the choice to say it or not.