Archive for Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Students protest board’s decision with giveaway of challenged book

November 5, 2003

There are nearly 30 additional copies of a controversial book now being read in Baldwin, thanks to the efforts of a few high school students and parents.

Twenty-nine copies of "We All Fall Down" were distributed at the Baldwin High School football game Thursday as a form of protest following the school board meeting Oct. 27, according to BHS sophomore Lynne Lammers.

"The main reason we did it was in protest that the board was not following its policy," Lammers said.

At its recessed meeting last Monday, the school board agreed to use current board policy regarding challenged materials, with only a few minor changes, to handle the recently challenged "We All Fall Down" by Robert Cormier.

The current policy states challenged materials will remain in use until a final decision is made. But at the last meeting, the board narrowly approved not to return the book to the freshman orientation class, which had been pulled from the class more than a month ago when the complaint was made.

Lammers said the decision to distribute copies of the book at the football game was made after the board wouldn't allow the book's return to the classroom.

"Our main problem is not the book itself, but the idea behind it," Lammers said. "If this happens to one book, it could happen with others.

"We thought this would be a good way to protest the board's actions."

Lammers said she and BHS students Paige Wagner, Emily Garcia, Rose Garrison and Dan Hinton were on hand to distribute copies of the book free of charge to those who wanted one.

A couple of parents paid for the copies of the books, but wanted to remain anonymous.

The students accepted donations for the books, which Lammers said they will use to purchase more copies of "We All Fall Down." She said they will attempt to donate the additional copies to the high school library.

Lammers said she thought the book hand out was successful in that it got the public's attention.

"I do think it helped a lot. There was definitely a majority of positive reactions," she said. " And we had several people come up and ask us why we were protesting.

"The main reason we're doing this is so the board will follow their policy in the future," she said.

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