Challenge: THE KITE RUNNER and CHINESE HANDCUFFS
This is the nuts and bolts of a challenge recently aimed at Waukesha High School in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Karen Tessman, who also spoke out against "Looking for Alaska," wants two other books off school district shelves.
She said in her complaint that she objects to the "gang rape, extreme brutality (and) violence" depicted in "Chinese Handcuffs," a 1989 young-adult novel written by Chris Crutcher.
"Gang rape, extreme violence and brutality have no place in the English curriculum," Tessman said in her complaint.
She said in her complaint that this book shouldn't be available to anyone younger than 18 years old.
She also put in a request to the consideration committee to have "The Kite Runner" banned. Tessman said in her complaint that she objected to the "extreme violence" in the 2003 book, which was No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller for more than two years.
Waukesha West Principal David LaBorde, who heads the consideration committee, said at the last meeting that "The Kite Runner" has already been approved by the Board of Education in 2006.
The consideration committee will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the school district's Lindholm Building, 222 Maple Ave.
The consideration committee met at 9 a.m. Wednesday and shot Karen Tessman’s complaint in the head. KUDOS.
I HAVE A DREAM…almost nightly:
Karen Tessman’s of the World: What is your policy for challenging the books in your curriculum, or in the school library?
My Dreamland Principal: Our policy is: Don’t.
MDP: I’m sorry, ma’am, but your spaceship was diverted to America.
KTW: What’s that supposed to mean?
MDP: That if your child is assigned a book to which either you or she has a moral objection, we will, happily and with great zeal, assign another book. We'll do that for any parent or student.
KTW: I’m afraid that won’t do. I have a list of books here no child should read. They are full of extreme violence, offensive language, explicit deviant sex and fairies.
MDP: What about penguins?
KTW: Excuse me?
MDP: Never mind. Could I see your list?
KTW: Now we’re getting somewhere. (She hands him the list.)
MDP: (Reads.) Could you excuse me for just a moment? I ate something last night that continues to disagree with me. (Hurries to the faculty restroom…returns moments later.) I apologize. I LOVE Mexican food, but…Anyway, where were we?
KTW: We were…where’s my list?
MDP: Oh, I’m awfully sorry. The restroom was out of toilet paper.
I wake up. Choose your own ending.
- - Chris Crutcher