Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska Challenged
UPDATE: The school board has approved the book list with a 3-2 vote. The class will be offered as planned. Thank you to the 1,100+ people who wrote in and expressed their support for the teachers at Strasburg High School, to The American Library Association and The National Council of Teachers of English, and above all to the teachers and principal at Strasburg High School.
Earlier today I received an email from a high school English teacher in Strasburg, Colorado who plans to teach an elective Young Adult literature course. A group of parents created a petition to “cleanse” the book list, claiming that the majority of the books on the curriculum, “are profane, pornographic, violent, criminal, crass, crude, vile, and will result in the irreparable erosion of my students’ moral character.”
Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska have been targeted in particular, and the press attended the most recent school board meeting. The motion has been tabled for the next meeting at 7:00 pm on April 16th at Strasburg High School: 56729 e. Colorado Ave, Strasburg, CO 80136.
Please join me in emailing letters of support of the teacher at Strasburg who has heroically stood by her curriculum and stood alone at School Board meetings defending the books. It’s important to keep your letter as civil as possible, even if this kind of thing turns you into a giant squid of anger.
Letters should be addressed “To the School Board” and emailed to StrasburgYALiteratureCourse@gmail.com. It would also be a great help to attend the next School Board meeting if you live in the area.
I am extremely grateful to those who have come out in support of my books on the various occasions they have been challenged, who understand that I am not out to corrupt teenagers, and who further understand the importance of reading books critically and thoughtfully as a whole, rather than focusing on individual scenes ripped from their context. Thanks for supporting my books, and thanks for being awesome.
Full proposed curriculum below the jump.