The Richland, WA school board has overturned a previous vote that removed Sherman Alexie’s award-winning Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian from the district’s high school curriculum. The book will now be available to all high school classes!
NCAC congratulates the board members who reversed their previous votes, after reading the book for themselves. According to the Richland News Tribune, board members were under the mistaken impression that the entire Instructional Materials Committee (the recommending body to the school board) had the book prior to giving a mixed review to the board.
Once the board realized only part of the IMC read the book, two of the three members who voted for removal decided it was imperative to read the work.
As we’ve noted in the past, civic and bureaucratic politics impact local censorship incidents almost as much as ideology. The citizens of Richland who stood up to be counted as in favor of First Amendment principles and a rich curriculum provided the political energy to correct this oversight.