–UPDATE– Last night the board voted 6-1 to keep the book. They will be instating new policies that will hopefully balance parental concerns with students rights and the professional judgments of teachers.
The students, teachers, parents and citizens on the ground in Glen Ellyn have been working hard to spread the word about tonight’s board vote there to (hopefully) restore Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Maddie Giffin and Maddie Howard, students at Glenbard West High School, made this video and have been leading a social media campaign using the hash tag #keepthebookalive. They even met Judy Blume and captured her thoughts about the ban when she visited Chicago last weekend.
Perks has been the center of debate since the end of April when the District 41 school board heard and then rejected a committee recommendation to keep the book in classroom libraries in Hadley Middle School. The book was a selection for independent or free reading which was chosen by a small group for a report. Two parents filed a complaint about their book after buying it for their daughter to read as part of the small group free reading.
Much of the debate has focused on how much the district should do or already does to ensure that parents are aware of their child’s reading choices and that teachers offer alternative options when a book isn’t right for a particular student. Teachers in District 41 have worked with the administration to try and find a middle ground solution that informed parents of their responsibilities as well as rights and did not infringe on the rights of other students or the professionalism of the educators.