Magazine article American Libraries

Horse Challenge Lassoed

Magazine article American Libraries

Horse Challenge Lassoed

Article excerpt

Helena (Mont.) Public Schools Superintendent Bruce Messinger has backed the recommendations of a materials-review committee that the book Horse by Juliet Clutton-Brock remain on the shelves of the Smith Elementary School. The reconsideration was the result of objections filed by Helena parent Roxanne Cleasby to the content of two of the book's 92 pages. Cleasby challenged the author's treatment of evolution as a scientific fact instead of a theory, specifically objecting to a sentence on page 8 of the book that reads: "It took about 55 million years for the present family of horses, asses, and zebras to evolve from their earliest horse-like ancestor."

"I just want my daughter to be able to question and have the freedom to make her own choices," Cleasby said in the March 27 Helena Independent Record after Messinger backed the review committee's recommendation to retain the book.

Cleasby had until mid-April to decide whether to appeal the decision to the full school board. Should she do so, Messinger has indicated that the board has "several other options" be sides removing or retaining the book. "It doesn't have to always be one or the other," he said. …

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