Magazine article American Libraries

Geography Club Reshelved

Magazine article American Libraries

Geography Club Reshelved

Article excerpt

Following two parents' complaints, the superintendent of the University Place (Wash.) School District ordered the removal of the gay teen novel Geography Club from the junior and senior high school library collections in November. However, superintendent Patti Banks rescinded the ban at the high-school level in December, citing an outpouring of community opinion in favor of the Brent Hartinger book.

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In reinstating the novel, Banks emphasized that her concern had been over a passage that romanticized an evening meeting in a park between the protagonist and a chat-room acquaintance. Earlier, she had written the complainants that the district "wants to send a strong consistent message to all our students that meeting individuals via the internet is extremely high-risk behavior," according to the November 22 Tacoma News Tribune. But she expressed dismay at the December 14 school board meeting following accusations that she had banned the book because of its gay content. "I recalculated everything in light of those comments and thought the greater good was served by putting it back in the high school library," she told the December 16 News Tribune. …

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