Sex, masturbation, and racial slurs are all inside the pages of a book that is being studied in a local school which will soon be officially challenged by a woman in Brunswick County.
For the second time in a year, school leaders face a censorship issue regarding a book on school shelves.
Last fall school leaders kept The Color Purple in a high school despite a formal challenge from County Commissioner Pat Sykes. This time, the controversy surrounds a book on shelves in a local middle school.
Frankie Wood spoke passionately at the Board of Education meeting Tuesday night about The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
The novel is currently being taught to 8th graders at Cedar Grove Middle School. Wood says it shouldn't be in classes because of the graphic sexual language and inappropriate content.
Wood read passages of the book aloud.
"These are not my words, these are words that come verbatim out of the book," said Wood as she looked down to read the passage.
"Yep, that's right, I admit that I masturbate," she read. "I'm proud of it. I'm good at it, and I'm ambidextrous. If there were a professional masturbation league, I'd get drafted number one and make a million dollars."
Wood continued to read content that is not suitable for many readers.
While she doesn't have any children currently in Brunswick County schools, Wood said she came forward to challenge the book because she's so concerned about the content.
"I feel sick to my stomach," Wood exclaimed. "I feel disgusted that our children are being taught this caliber of education."
The novel has content issues such as homosexuality, profanity, and violence. As a result, many school districts across the country have banned the book. Wood hopes that Brunswick County will do the same.
"They think that everything they learn at school is ok because it was taught to them at school by a very nice teacher. So, it's ok if you do those kinds of things," said Wood. "It's ok if you say those kinds of things, they're teaching them to the kids in school. No, it's not okay."
As is the case with all school assigned books, parents have the option to select alternative readings for their child.
Wood says she plans to move forward with a formal challenge to the novel.
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