Saturday, April 17, 2010

Minnesota Mom Scared of Jeff Smith's Bone

A parent in a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, has filed a complaint with the school district objecting to the content in the fourth volume of Jeff Smith's popular Bone series.

Ramona DeLay of Apple Valley told Sun Newspapers she was "a little shocked" that her son, and elementary-school student, was reading a graphic novel depicting drinking, smoking and gambling. She filed a formal request to the school district on on March 15 asking that the book be "withdrawn from all students." In the complaint, DeLay also cited "sexual situations between characters."

A panel of teachers and parents will formally hear Delay's concerns later this month. If she wins, the series would be banned from all 18 schools.

"Both sides, if you will, have a chance to verbalize their concern and the community makes the decision," said Steven Troen of Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools. "I view it as a real positive process."

Delay admits her son made a choice in picking the book, but she still objects to the series.

"We need to make sure we know what our children are reading to raise a healthy generation," she said.

The American Civil Liberties Union hasn't taken a position on the case, but says the process the district has in place works.

"The library belongs to everybody in the school, not just to one person," said Chuck Samuelson, executive director of the ACLU of Minnesota. "And you can't have a civil society if every person has absolute veto. gfest