A book that has been causing some controversy among parents and school administration will remain in the Durant High School Library.
After a parent voiced concerns over sexual and violent content in the book, “The Bluest Eye,” a committee was formed to review the book to determine whether it should stay in the school.
Michele Williams made a formal request to have the book pulled from the shelves permanently. She also made a presentation at the Durant ISD Board of Education’s meeting on April 7.
Williams presented portions of the book to the school board that she felt were not appropriate for children.
These portions gave detail to the physical and mental aspects of rape through the eyes of the rapist.
Williams said the author took pains within the book to not depict the rapist’s action as wrong so that people can see everyone has their own problems.
“What the author said of this book is that she wanted the reader to feel like a co-conspirator of the rapist,” Williams said during last month’s school board meeting.
“The committee members read the book cover to cover,” said Durant Superintendent Duane Merideth.
The committee met Monday at the high school to determine the book’s fate. The meeting was conducted out of public view, which Merideth said was within the law.
He said the Open Meeting Act does not apply to school-appointed committees such as the one reviewing the book.
During the meeting, committee members determined the book was suitable for the high-school age range and would stay in the library.
Williams said she was disappointed and confused by the committee’s decision.
She said, when she spoke with school board members, they had expressed the same concerns she had about the book. Williams said she was even told that the same goal of having the book removed was shared.
Merideth did say he wanted to remind parents that they can advise the school’s librarian regarding what type of material their children are not allowed to read.
Any material that parents rule unsuitable for their children will be flagged on their students’ accounts and the students will not be able to check out any material pertaining to flagged items.