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Intellectual Freedom News

Book complaints spur debate

19 April 1986


La Rae Hickman filed a complaint with the Reynolds School District over a few books that the school uses in their curriculum. The books were Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and The Lemming Condition by Alan Arkin. She also wrote a guest column for the Gresham outlook complaining about the use of two other books, Romeo and Juliet and The Martian Chronicles. Hickman states that she feels that the authority of the parents is being squashed and that kids are being demoralized. Her main objections to the books are the use of profanity, devalued human life, mercy killing, and the generational gap being normal. Barbara Scot, a teacher at the Columbia High School, said that teachers welcome communication with parents and that they can review the curriculum and voice opinions about it. John Deeder said that it would be nice to have parent sit on committees that select books for the curriculum. He also states that he believes that parents should have the right to alternative assignments but that there needs to be a balance with the teachers workload and the schools goals.


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