'A Land Remembered' will be a book remembered at a Hillsborough school
It was supposed to be a happy day at Bailey Elementary School.
Gov. Rick Scott's wife, Ann Scott, known for her passion for reading, was visiting. She congratulated the students on winning a statewide Literacy Week award. She read to children, as she often does in her visits around the state.
But somewhere along the line, smiles turned into frowns.
The book she read to two fifth grade classes was A Land Remembered, a critically acclaimed novel about Florida pioneers by the late Patrick D. Smith. As you can see here, the opening pages include some language that might not be considered suitable for young ears. Words like "prostitute." And "son-of-a-b----." Someone alerted the media. It's not clear who complained, and district spokeswoman Tanya Arja said neither her office, nor the school, heard from any parents.
By the end of the day, Scott's office had issued this letter of apology.
The school also did a mea culpa, with this statement from principal Russell Wallace to the parents:
"This morning, Florida First Lady Ann Scott read to Mrs. Sabo's kindergarten class and Mrs. Vician and Mrs. Faria's 5th grade classes to celebrate our school as the state's literacy winner. Mrs. Scott read a book to a class of 5th graders titled A Land Remembered that had some words that were not age-appropriate. We did not pick the book and have addressed this with her staff.
"We wanted to make you aware since your child is our number one priority. Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions."
Speaking with the Tampa Bay Times, Wallace did say this about the First Lady: "We appreciate her taking the time out and picking Bailey out of all the other schools."