SOUTH COAST TODAY
Anika Clark | October 27, 2011
The classic debate over what’s appropriate for school children to read and when has a new local chapter — at Old Rochester Regional Junior High School and in the pages of “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.”
A few parents are scheduled to meet with staff and School Committee members today about their concerns over the book’s assignment, for the second year, in eighth-grade English. Penned by Sherman Alexie, the novel is a New York Times best-seller, a National Book Award winner and, according to the American Library Association, was one of the top 10 banned or challenged books of 2010.
“I’m a Constitution guy. … But the First Amendment doesn’t say (that) freedom of speech means that a teacher can bring in whatever they want and assign it,” said James Babineau, an eighth-grade parent who helped sound the alarm after reading the book and said that when he first approached administrators about it, they hadn’t read it.