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School Board Reviews Book Selection Policy

Complaint against Toni Morrison novel spurs review of how classroom reading is selected.

The Board of Education is developing a new policy for selecting school books following parent .

According to the Danbury News-Times, the Board of Education policy subcommittee decided to review its policies for selecting textbooks and other classroom reading materials after some residents complained that Morrison’s novel "The Bluest Eye" was too explicit.

The committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. in the media center at Brookfield High School.

long time resident March 03, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Shaker the book banner!
Loving Mom March 04, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Thank you Harry shaker for caring so much about our kids and keeping trash out of our schools. I've recently seen what is in this particular book and it belongs in colleges at the least,it high schools. If anybody has not seen it, please look for yourselves and not just jump on the book banning band wagon, cause its not about banning books, but age appropriateness in our schools. 16 year olds do not need to be reading this explicitness in the classroom. If I printed right here what is in the book, it would be deleted by the patch. If you are remembering the book from what you've read years ago, please pick it up and read it again in light of our world today....
Loving Mom March 04, 2012 at 02:26 PM
*not high schools
Concerned Brookfield Citizen March 04, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Have you read the whole book?
Loving Mom March 04, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Yes I have read the whole book.
Rob Gianazza March 04, 2012 at 04:32 PM
I'm afraid that all this talk about policy being reviewed is just "feel good" speak. There are many opinions about this book, but that really isn't the point. There are two points that need to be made. One, should books be banned and two, who decides what books are appropriate for students? In my opinion, no books should be banned. I think that all parents and students should be free to pursue their interests, whether it be from the school or public library, or from a source of their choice. On to the bigger issue, who is reviewing and purchasing these books? Let's keep in mind that taxpayer dollars are being spent on the purchase of these materials. There seems to be a "shock and awe" approach to some of the materials selected. They fill a niche. Well all materials fills some sort of niche. The question should be, is it appropriate to spend taxpayer dollars on this material? Couldn't these tax dollars be better spent on materials that are usable by all students? Why are certain materials selected in the first place? Let's not over-react and begin a book-burning campaign, instead let's think about what we are committing our tax dollars to before we spend them.
long time resident March 04, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Ron, I am not saying in this instance, the school does not have enough copies for the class to read and the students purchase the books to keep as reference or to keep on their bookshelves. You know better than I if the book was a school book. Regardless, this book has been read for the last 20 years. I am wondering if this book is being read by the Junior class? If so, then the parent on the BOE objected to the reading of the poem Beowulf. He wanted the poem banned. Years ago there was an uproar of Catcher in the Rye. The residents of Brookfield should not be a part of any banning of books.
Anonymous March 05, 2012 at 04:39 PM
I' ve read this book and feel there are some pros and cons to it in regards to history and literature. It is very explicit and perhaps there are other books that could be used to depict social injustices of the time that are less explicit and better written., yet ,just as powerful . The characters in this book are very one dimensional. There is,however, value in the book in that there is truth in the book. Its simpllistic to say its the same issue as banning books as was done in the past.I do think there should be a review of books before our children are expected to read them--that's not banning.I liken it to reviewing movies for either obtaining an R or X rating by the movie industry.
David Propper March 05, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Rob, can you clarify your statement "Couldn't these tax dollars be better spent on materials that are usable by all students?" The Bluest Eye was only read by the Honors class. I can infer from your statement that all the 11th Graders should read the same book. I think it makes sense to have different levels of reading material for different levels of students within the same grade. Did I misunderstand your statement?
Rob Gianazza March 05, 2012 at 06:21 PM
David, thank you for asking. No that was not my inference at all. The tax dollars spent to purchase these books are being utilized for just a few students out of nearly three-thousand. As others have posted, other works could have been used to convey a similar message that are not as graphic and could be utilized by many more students. I'm not questioning this specific book, I'm questioning how discretionary funding is being spent. Are we getting the best "bang for our buck" by using tax dollars to purchase books that can be utilized by only a few?
David Propper March 05, 2012 at 09:34 PM
But this controversy started around a particular book for a particular class. I can't imagine that there was much buck spent on this year's 11th grade honors class, particularly if this was not the first time this book has been used. I just found the book online for $6.91/copy. I suspect that we get better deals from our distributor.
Rob Gianazza March 05, 2012 at 10:53 PM
David, the policy subcommittee is reviewing the policy pertaining to all materials, not just a single book. Please do not attempt to change the subject. Don't be a Howard.
long time resident March 05, 2012 at 11:18 PM
LOL Howard, good one Rob!

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