Maryland district bans bullying book

April 10, 2007 at 3:51 PM
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ABERDEEN, Md., April 10 (UPI) -- A Maryland school district has removed a book on bullying from its high school curriculum because of vulgar language.

Superintendent Jacqueline C. Haas said on the Harford County School District Web site that the novel "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier will not be included in the ninth-grade social studies curriculum, the Baltimore Sun reported. She planned to announce her decision to the school board Tuesday night.

The 1974 novel tells the story of a boy who is bullied because he refuses to take part in a school fundraiser. It has won many awards, but many parents complained about its inclusion in the curriculum because of its content and homophobic slurs, the Sun reported.

John Wagner was among the parents who spoke against the book.

"I'm not an advocate for stopping free speech, but I am very pleased the school system isn't advocating the book as part of the curriculum," Wagner told the Sun.

Mother Laura Krebs was disappointed.

"I don't think (Hass) put a lot of faith in the parents who made the decision to let their children read the book. It allows for discussion, and no good comes from not talking about something," she told the Sun.

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