A new monthly book club focusing on critically acclaimed works banned by the Fremont school board held its first meeting last night, according to media reports.
The Argus reported earlier in the week that the book club, based at Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation in the Irvington district, will be a monthly eight-part course open to the public, including students.
According to the newspaper, the club is led by Washington High School teacher Terri Hu and features discussions on titles such as “Bastard Out of Carolina,” a book about a girl who is sexually abused by her stepfather, and “Angles in America,” a play about homosexuality and AIDs in the 1980s.
Both books had been previously approved by the school board until 2008, when the five-member board rejected “Bastard Out of Carolina,” the Argus reports. Hu, a 15-year veteran of the district, attempted to submit the book for approval the next two years and was rejected both times. In 2011, she submitted “Angels in America” and was shot down for that, as well.
“It’s like they don’t want our children to read modern, relevant books,” Hu told the Argus.
Board member Ivy Wu told the Argus that she voted against the books because they were “too graphic.”
Church minister Rev. Rev. Jeremy Nickel told the newspaper that it’s important to explore such works to equip them “with the moral muscles to make the right decisions.”
Do you think books about sensitive social issues such as sexual abuse and homosexuality should be banned in high schools?