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Book Pulled From Two SF Middle School Shelves

November 11, 2009, 4:57 PM by Katie Janssen

Book Pulled From Two SF Middle School Shelves
The book is called "Stuck in the Middle: Seventeen Comics from an Unpleasant Age," and it's a collection of cartoons that depict what life is like as an adolescent. But now, the book been removed from library shelves at two Sioux Falls middle schools because of what some are calling its graphic content.

In one clip of the book, a crowd of kids is egging on a fight. Other clips show the embarrassing side of being a teen and also how much words can hurt. But some of the pages, we can't show you.

"Was very graphic language, slang terms for sexual acts they felt weren't appropriate to be in the library for student access," Sioux Falls School Board President Kent Alberty said.

The book was available to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders at two Sioux Falls middle schools, Edison and Patrick Henry, but after a complaint from a parent in September, administrators formed a committee to take a good look at the content.

"The committee is made up of two teachers, two parents and an assistant principal.  They review the book and read it," Alberty said.

The group recommended that the school board pull "Stuck in the Middle" from shelves where students can get to it, and the board agreed. But teachers still have access.

"There is value in the book,” Alberty said. “One of the subjects addressed is bullying, something the district is very interested in making sure is handled appropriately, and the book does address that." 

Alberty says parents have always had the right to challenge library material they feel is inappropriate, and the process worked just as it should've.

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