Columbia County parents disapprove of school library book

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Dirty words usually are not allowed in elementary some parents want to know why they're allowed in library books.

News 12's Stephanie Baker is On Your Side with why some Columbia County parents are fighting to get the material off the shelves.

The Accelerated Reader Program in schools rewards kids for reading above their grade level.

But some parents say the profanity and adult subject matter in the book The Same Stuff As Stars aren't appropriate for elementary kids.

Danny and Veronica Lack don't think profanity, drug use, and adult topics should be part of their eight-year-old daughter's reading list.

"I'm trying to preserve the innocence of children. Not just mine, but all children," Veronica says.

Veronica is trying to get the book taken off the shelves at River Ridge Elementary.

"If it is not appropriate for students and teachers to say in class, then why is it okay for a child to read the book?" Veronica asks.

That's the question we asked Superintendent Tommy Price. He says it's something for the school board to think about. They get the final say on whether to take the book off the shelves.

"I know in the world kids are exposed to all sorts of language at all levels, but that doesn't mean they have to find it in media centers," Price says.

The book is currently in the elementary Media Center for Advanced Readers like the Lacks' daughter. The Media Center sent parents a letter explaining that the book got good reviews from credible sources, and stating that books should offer diverse viewpoints.

"There may be children out there who faced hard times and difficult issues...but they don't need to read about it in books," Danny Lack says.

Beyond the language, these parents are worried about what they say are multiple drug references and the amount of time the 11-year-old main character spends with an older stranger.

"She goes outside without knowing who he is and starts up a relationship," Veronica says.

She says elementary children are too young to understand why that's dangerous. That's why a Borders review shows the book is best suited for junior high kids.

It's a concern Price is looking into.

"I have some concerns with children being exposed at a very young age," he says.

"It made me sick to my stomach to read," Veronica says. "There have got to be better educational and uplifting books out there for students they can get their hands on."

There has been some concern over author Katherine Paterson's other books. There's a question about profanity posted on her website. Her reply states: "I believe it is my responsibility to create characters who are real, not models of good behavior."

The appeal to remove the book from the elementary schools will go to the school board the night of Tuesday, April 25.

Danny and Veronica Lack have been through several appeals. The board is in the process of reading the book so they can make a final decision.