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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Gulf High IB student gets reprieve on book she objected to



Closeup2It appears Marí Mercado won't have to read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle after all. And she won't have to take a reduced score on her required International Baccalaureate program world literature essay, either.

Marí's father, Rafael, told the Gradebook that he sat with officials from Gulf High School this afternoon, and they agreed to give his daughter a new novel for her assignment.

"They're going to ensure that it's something more appropriate for her, in our view," Mr. Mercado said.

Marí, a 16-year-old junior, had objected to the required reading of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, saying she was offended by the graphic sexual content in the book's early pages. Initially, school officials stated that they could not change the assignment. After additional review directed by the Pasco school district's curriculum department, the position seems to have softened.

Deborah Lepley, the IB coordinator at Gulf High, declined to comment to the Gradebook.

After the story became public, readers took strong positions both for and against Marí's stance. Her father said he couldn't be prouder of her for standing up for what she believed to be right.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:36am]


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