NJ School board strikes book with slur from Black History Month reading list
Published in 1995, "The Well" by Mildred Taylor is about a black family in early 20th century Mississippi that has the town's only working well and shares its water with neighbors, including members of a white family who use the racial epithet.
The book had been included on a list for students at the H. Ashton Marsh School. The Board of Education voted Tuesday to remove it pending a review by a committee of faculty members and citizens about whether it is appropriate for use at all, The Press of Atlantic City reported Wednesday.
"We will respect the concerns presented and hold off on reading the book," said Schools Superintendent James Giaquinto.
Fourth-grade teacher Terry Maher said the students who were to read it have already been taught about the mistreatment of certain groups of people.
"The word is not taught in the book, the word is hated in the book," Maher said. "The book has gotten rave reviews. We would be sorry to lose it."
But one parent who turned out for the board meeting said it was wrong to let children read a book containing the slur.
"If children hear it, and are allowed to read it in class, it legitimizes it," said Robert Preston. "It gives them ammunition to tease others, without really understanding."
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John J Capozucca - 1/30/2006
A sad day when one politically correct hypersensitive parent can censor what an entire school district reads.