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Superintendent Rules in Favor of Challenged Book

Tomas Rivera.

After the Clarke County Board of Education ordered him to review his initial decision last month, Superintendent Philip Lanoue has again overruled objections that And the Earth Did Not Devour Him contains too much profanity for middle school students.

Here’s the letter Lanoue wrote to Mr. and Mrs. Chad Lowery, the parents who complained about the book:

The Board and I appreciate your interest and concern with regard to the materials used in our middle school program. Please know that although we did not initially agree on this particular matter, I understand we share the common goal of doing what is best for our students.

In accordance with the Board of Education’s action at its meeting on June 13, 2013 requiring me to revisit this matter, I have again reviewed the information presented to the Board in the appeal package, as well as the comments and concerns made by all parties regarding this matter.

I maintain the position that the one paragraph does not overpower the other literary elements that this book can offer our students. My final decision is that the novel And the Earth Did Not Devour Him will remain as a novel in the media center available to students and may be used as an option in support of the middle school curriculum.

So, unlike the Harry Potter series and classics by Ernest Hemingway, Kurt Vonnegut, J.D. Salinger, John Steinbeck and Toni Morrison, among many others, we can take this one off the banned books list.