The Kids Right to Read Project, an offshoot of the National Coalition Against Censorship, has sent Pasco schools superintendent Kurt Browning a letter urging him to reinstate the novel Paper Towns to a summer reading list.
Officials last week removed the John Green book from the John Long Middle School eighth grade summer reading list after a mother complained about its language and sexual content. The group noted that the decision to pull the award-winning title violated district policy, which sets forth a clear process for book challenges, including reviews and appeals. Those steps did not take place.
The group also raised constitutional questions about prohibiting access to controversial materials. "Decisions about instructional materials should be based on sound educational grounds, not because some people do or do not agree with the message or content of a particular book," the coalition wrote in the letter, sent on Monday.
"This approach is consistent with constitutional and educational principles and will serve the interests of both the district and its students," the letter said. "We urge you to demonstrate your commitment to these goals by restoring Paper Towns to the eighth grade summer reading list."
District officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.