January 22, 2009

School board reverses book ban in special session

A contrite Beulah School Board opened a special meeting Monday night to readdress the board’s action Thursday to ban the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." In a prepared statement Board President Phil Eastgate told a packed house "we as a board may have failed, I may have failed by not encouraging the board to seek legal counsel and didn’t research other options."

"I should have said let’s slow down and maybe read the book too," Eastgate said.

In a 4 – 3 vote on Thursday night the Beulah School Board decided to ban the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt. Parent and high school teacher Keith Bohn, and his wife Kathy, filed a form with the Superintendent’s office in October 2008 to have the book removed from high school library shelves, after their son selected it from an accelerated reading list.

In the Citizens Request Form for Reconsideration of Media Materials the Bohns asserted that the book "implants thought patterns that are absolutely against what we try to instill in our students here at Beulah High. I realize that I have not read the book in its entirety, and maybe somewhere it doesn’t condone the sinful nature we are pointing out. But what we see is a very aggressive approval of … things we as a school (and a) community don’t approve."


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