A ton of action is expected at Wednesday night’s Santa Rosa School Board meeting, not the least of which is part one of two sessions that could see $5.6 million cut from next year’s $88.2 million general fund.
(see Wednesday’s story for what is coming up Wednesday night on the budget front)
But also on the agenda is a move by parent Liz Franzel to get the novel “Tortilla Curtain” by T.C. Boyle off the reading list for high schoolers. Franzel’s daughter is a junior at Montgomery whose class was assigned the book this year.
When I spoke to Franzel about it in November, she called the book “appalling. It’s embarrassing, it’s humiliating.”
“This book is unbelievable,” she said. “It’s not like I want to be a book burner…
It’s just not okay for required reading.”
A review committee made up of a library media teacher, teachers from three of the schools that taught the book, a school administrator and two district office administrators convened last fall to review the book under the district’s guidelines.
The group OK’d continued use of the book with the following guidelines:
“The teacher must appropriately prepare students for the parts of the book that may be considered provocative; Limit the book to juniors and seniors; Should a parent object to the book, board policy is currently in place that allows a student to be excused from the book assignment and provides for an alternate assignment without penalty to the student.”
But Franzel contends the book has no place on a high school reading list.
She’ll make her case Wednesday night.