**‘We Have Not Banned Any Books’ Lemont High School Says **
LEMONT, IL — Lemont High School administrators came under fire this week after reports that they had banned books from students’ required reading.
The school took to the Internet Saturday to debunk rumors and clarify school procedure regarding two books in the curriculum: ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy, and Maya Angelou’s ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.’
A recent article from the Cook County Chronicle has led some to believe the school is banning books, wrote the district on its website.
“This is not true,” reads a statement. “We understand that this is a sensitive subject for many, whether they are current Lemont students, parents, alumni, educators, community members, and individuals across the country.”
The statement goes on to explain how the events unfolded over a period of two months. English II Academic classes this year were assigned excerpts from The God of Small Things. The book “contains subject matter in some sections that is not age-appropriate for the students who were reading the book; the questionable passages were not assigned for students to read,” the district said in the statement. The book slipped through the cracks of the district’s review of curricular materials prior to the novel being assigned to students.
“‘The God of Small Things’ was not on that list of materials for the 2016-17 school year,” reads the statement. “The book was introduced into our curriculum without the Board of Education’s knowledge, and upon learning this, Principal Eric Michaelsenproactively communicated on November 2 with all parents/guardians of students enrolled in the class to explain the situation and to apologize for the book having been utilized this semester.”
But contrary to what some parents have stated, the district says “the concern about the content of some portions of the book did not originate from parents or community members,” instead coming from the class’ teachers.
“Only after the school transparently communicated with parents about the unauthorized use of this book did external concerns come forward,” the district said.