Explicit 'Banned Book' Infuriates Virginia Father, Leads to School Review

Explicit ‘Banned Book’ Infuriates Virginia Father, Leads to School Review

** A Virginia man says he became “infuriated” when he discovered that his 16-year-old son brought home a book he’d been given in school that contained references to homosexuality, drug use and explicit sexual behavior.**
The father’s complaint has led to a school review of the novel, “Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky, which has been a source of controversy in other schools across the country.
John Davis, of Vinton, Va., said his son, Matthew, brought the book home after it was given to him by a friend who had gotten it from Kathleen Renard, an English teacher at William Byrd High School.


I’m not familiar with the book in question, but most 16 year olds are quite capable of reading literature dealing with such topics.

A friend of mine (Godchild, in fact) was a school librarian.

She had a standard policy for parents who complained about material in the library.

The FIRST question was, “Have you read the book in question?”

She would also ask, “What portions do you find objectionable (page numbers and paragraphs)? Why do you find this objectionable? What do you think the author’s purpose was in writing this? What would you suggest as an alternative?”

Let’s not forget that even standard broadcast TV talks about homosexuality, drug use, and explicit sexual behavior. These are among the themes found in literature throughout the ages.

A sixteen year old is perfectly capable of deciding what to read.As someone about to move into an adult world he has to be given a certain independence of thought.How can he judge what is suitable for him if daddy dominates his thinking?
I come from a long line of readers:my grandmother never told her children what to read, neither did she ban books,my mother never told me what to read and what not to read and the same with my children.over 100 years of thinking for oneself. there is not a criminal,creep, or sociopath among us. That kind of behavior comes not from books but from nurture, nature and one’s own soul and identity.

Forget the book, why are they naming high schools after Klansmen?

A teacher lent a student a book who read it and lent it to another student. I fail to see where he problem is here

I feel his outrage. :mad:

When my son was 16, he got a very liberal English teacher and he had to read Johnny Jay (growing up as a lesbian), Virginia Wolf, Angela’s Ashes and he was taken to a play called Art"(tolerance -there is no such thing as right or wrong).

I went to this English teacher who was also the head of the department and she told me that it was important that students read contemporary literature and maybe my son wasn’t smart enough to read these books even though placed in an high honors class. I decided he wouldn’t do book reports on some of them and he got an F in the class which killed his class rank. I then went to the principle (who was an English major) and the principle had no problem with the selection of books.

I never found the time to go to the school committee.

Did I read the some of the books? Yes, in fact I had about 20 book marks in different pages in one book alone so I could point out what I felt was inappropriate.

The issue for me also, if my son is forced to read this garbage, he is not reading great literature and yes there are many great books that I would love to see my son to read.

Did you mean Robert Byrd - the ooooold (98 years old?) Senator & Pres-pro-temp of the Senate, who is 3rd in line to the presidency (right after, God help us, Speaker Nancy Pelosi).
Senator Byrd used to be a Klansman, and he represents W. Virginia (not Virginia) in the Senate. I didn’t know that William Byrd (the man the school was named after, was also a Klansman - if so, I stand corrected.

“According to the American Library Association, the 224-page novel, published in 1999 by MTV Books, was among the top 10 frequently challenged books of 2008 due to its references to drugs, homosexuality, offensive language, suicide and other material considered unsuitable to certain age groups.”

And I’d be willing to bet that very few, or none, would be opposed to the works of William Shakespeare.

How about some William Shakespeare?

QFT. How about some Homer?

Or even the Bible, don’t want to be giving that to the kids to read do we? Unlike the last two posters I am Catholic but I find people doing flip-flops about kids reading Virginia Woolf slightly…er, odd.

I actually had to read it for a graduate level youth ministry class. Trust me it is a very filthy book. But coming from the family background I did I’m just kind of used to it, and actually enjoyed the book. But yes I could see where it is very offensive, and really should not be used in schools.

If it was this William Byrd then he wasn’t a Klansman. 1540 - 1623 is a bit early for the Klan.


This teacher was wrong to try to pass her own values onto a minor. Parents, according to the Catholic view, are in charge of the upbringing of their children, including their moral and religious upbringing. There are some religions I disagree with, but I would never even think of trying to teach a child views contrary to those of his parents. If we start doing what this teacher tried to do, where will it end?

If a parent is so concerned about the influences of a book that talks about contemporary topics, are openly discussed among groups of people and are all over the media, then I suggest that that parent read the book and discuss the material with their child. If you think that by banning a book you are going to stop information, you are wrong. You might as well spend time passing on some of your own accumulated wisdom, knowledge and morals. It makes for a great bonding experience. :wink:

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