Watauga, NC, school board to consider book ban

Feb. 27, 2014 @ 11:20 AM

A North Carolina school board is considering banning a book assigned to high school students that contains rape and execution scenes.

The Watauga County School Board is scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss a proposed ban on "The House of the Spirits," written in 1982 by Chilean author Isabel Allende.

The book is described as a story of three generations of a family that deals with social revolution and a spirit-filled world. It's part of the Honors English curriculum for Watauga High School sophomores. The book includes scenes of rape and executions.

Several parents complained that the book is too graphic for 10th-graders, and asked the board to remove it from the curriculum.

The American Civil Liberties Union said it will join students and other parents at a rally before the meeting to protest the proposed ban.

In January, the Brunswick County Board of Education voted 3-2 to continue using the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "The Color Purple" in some high school English classes. The board said it would revisit the issue later.

Last September, the Randolph County Board of Education voted to rescind its ban on Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man," returning it to local high school libraries.