Edited to add: this is a repost of an email by Kelly Milner Halls to yalsa-bk, used with Kelly’s permission.
Two students at Montgomery County High School, Diana Banderas and Stephanie Bellot, have organized a free speech rally in Mount Sterling, Kentucky to protest the challenge by parents and school board superintendent Daniel Freeman of several YA novels, including DEADLINE by Chris Crutcher and TWISTED by Laurie Halse Anderson. College prep English teacher Risha Mullins used the books with classics in reading circles — voluntary options. A parent or two complained, the review committee voted to retain the books and support Mullins. Superintendent Daniel Freeman overturned the vote when the parents appealed and removed the books from the classroom and instructed the teacher to discontinue her reading circles. He insisted the books were not helpful in terms of college prep.
Diana and Stephanie asked Chris Crutcher to attend the rally, and he agreed. So he’ll be there to speak along with other students from MCHS. If any of you are in Kentucky or Southern Ohio or other regions near Mount Sterling, please consider attending to support these courageous young people and their teachers and librarians. We’ll post notes and photos on Chris’s website and Facebook as soon as possible, for those who can’t attend. And you can find background information about the challenge here, on Chris’s site (http://www.chriscrutcher.com) and on Laurie’s blog (http://halseanderson.livejournal.com/265078.html).
WHEN: Friday, December 18, 2009 at 6:00 pm
WHERE: Gateway Regional Center for the Arts