Updated: Oct 22, 2021
Misinformation About The Board's Role in Selecting Books
The recall group is using a complaint about a book read at Homestead High School in English in marketing materials to replace 4 school board members.
(1) The Board does not approve books. As a governance board, the Board manages MTSD through policy. A governance board does not micromanage by approving books; not only is this not practical, a Board does not have the expertise required to choose adequate books to study.
(2) Books are not "approved curriculum" as the material states, they are a tool in curriculum.
(3) MTSD is following Board policy. Policy 2210 directs MTSD how to handle "Controversial Issues/Topics." the District directs the Superintendent to implement procedures to evaluate materials challenged by parents.
(4) 2 of the 4 Board members under recall were not on the Board the first time the book was read.
The recall group’s connection between the book and decision-making is false and misleading.
ABOUT THE BOOK
According to a Homestead High School English teacher:
The book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, published in 2007, has been read by Homestead students in English for the past 6 years.
In 6 years, there have been 3 parent concerns: 1 last year and 2 this year; and only 1 of the 3 parents chose alternate material; the other two permitted their child to read it.
Each time the book is read, parents are notified and given the option for their child to have an alternate reading. MTSD values parent opinion; the kids don’t have to read it.
The kids love the book. It is on-level English difficulty, but an easy read with sophisticated themes. It engages reluctant readers, which is great because there is a direct correlation between ACT scores and minutes of reading each day.
It is important to note this book as a history of controversy in schools.
MTSD is forming a Challenged Materials Review Committee consisting of 3 parents and approximately 7 administrators and staff, committing to 3 hours of time each.
Board Policy 2210 -
Letter to Parents about Book Challenge