Pasco school district to review book superintendent deems 'inappropriate for any student'
A committee of administrators, teachers and parents will meet at 2 p.m. Monday at Pasco Middle School to discuss parent concerns that their seventh-graders were assigned a book containing graphic depictions of sex and drug use, without their knowledge or consent.
At least two parents objected after the fact to their children reading Stephen Chbosky's 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower,' which has been made into a movie, as part of an advanced language arts class.
"They officially provided this pornography, and provided it to the kids," parent Matthew Ramer said. "We are not going to let this go."
Ramer emailed superintendent Kurt Browning to complain that his 13-year-old daughter had been exposed to the material, which includes specific descriptions of rape, sex and masturbation. Browning responded that he found the book inappropriate.
"First, let me say that, I too, am offended and disgusted with the selection of the reading material that was made available to your daughter and other students at Pasco Middle School," he wrote. "It was inappropriate for any student in the Pasco School system."
He said all schools that have the title had pulled it from circulation. He apologized. And Pasco Middle School called a review committee to consider the title.
Ramer suggested there's no need for the hearing. After all, he said, the superintendent removed the book and called it inappropriate.
"This is just a dog and pony show," he said.
More important, Ramer said, is to ensure that school district employees more closely review books before buying them and assigning them to children. He was hopeful that Browning would take a forceful position on this issue.