In June, we brought you a story on parents upset about reading selections within HPISD. As fire continued in the debate, many parents and family members of HPISD students turned up to the school board meeting on Sept. 9 to put in their two cents.
Following that meeting, emails came pouring in to HPISD school board trustees, district superintendent Dawson Orr, and HPHS principal Walter Kelly requesting the removal of specific titles. As a result, seven books have been temporarily suspended from the classrooms as of last week, pending further review by committees made up of parents, teachers, and students. The books are:
- The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
- The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler
- Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
- An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
- The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
- Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
All reading selections are reviewed by a committee during the vetting process. However, when titles are challenged, they must go through a more formal “reconsideration committee” review.
Specifically, three titles were scheduled for use during this school year: The Art of Racing in the Rain, The Glass Castle, and The Working Poor. A separate committee will be formed to review each of those titles.
“At this point, we are still gathering nominations,” said Orr, who added that many of those nominations are coming from HP parent-leadership groups.
“It’s going to take us a couple of weeks to pull together just the committee, provide them the information and orientation, and then give them time to do their work,” he said.