LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC)– A Fairfax County mom protesting a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel taught in high school English classes will find out this week if her six-month campaign to ban the book from county schools has been successful.
The Washington Post reports that 45-year-old mother of four Laura Murphy started questioning the novel, “Beloved” by Toni Morrison, after her oldest son said he experienced night terrors because of its content in the 2011-2012 school year. The plot centers around slavery, and contains explicit details about the murder of a child and sexual encounters between characters.
Murphy’s son, however, was an Advanced Placement English student when he was assigned the reading. School officials told The Post that AP English is a college-level course that often deals with adult topics through literature.
Fairfax County has never banned a book completely, although the school system has limited the availability of certain materials to older students, The Post reports.
Murphy’s goal is to get “Beloved” banned until the board creates a new policy for when assigned reading includes questionable material.
An already-in-place policy at Fairfax County schools deals with teachers showing R-rated films in class. Families must be notified and provide written permission for students to participate.
“Beloved” claims the 26th spot on the American Library Association’s list of the top 100 challenged books between 2000 and 2009.
Also on the list: The Harry Potter series, “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
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