Students, Parents protest book - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Students, Parents protest book

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February 22, 2007

Nashville - "Bless God, Don't Curse God."  "Follow the rules you give our students."

These are demands a group in Berrien County is asking of it's school system.

And all since the sophomores at Berrien High School were asked to read A Separate Peace for their literature class.  "Some of my youth students in the church came to me about this problem in Berrien High School and asked me to make a stand for them," says Rebecca King, a pastor at a church in Berrien County and parent of a sophomore at BHS.

Around 30 parents and students gathered Thursday morning outside the school, protesting the book, it's language, and it's references to God.  "I've read books that have one or two foul language in it but you could over look it. But whenever it damns my God, that's another story," says Senior Mirenda Cargle.

And the message it's sending the students.  "It's just wrong to say we have to read something like that but if we say it we could get suspended. It don't make sense," says sophomore Cheyenne Keene.

But after reading the book, the school board disagrees.  "Our board felt like it was in character for what those people were saying and had a purpose in the book and wasn't just thrown in to use profanity for the sake of using profanity," says Superintendent Bobby Griffin.

And for those who felt differently, another option was offered.  "We do offer an alternative book that they could use and we do offer that in this situation," he adds.

But that's not enough. This group wants the book taken off of school shelves all together.  "We don't want this book in our schools and we want it removed," King says.

They say Thursday's protest was not their last option.  They plan to take their case to the State Superintendent, Cathy Cox.

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