ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — The Escambia County School Board voted 4 to 1 in favor of removing “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” as an optional novel study for 12th grade English classes.
“I’m rebuking you because God is righteous and these books are wicked. If you cannot see that these books need to be removed from the eyes of children, then I am asking that you step down from your positions on the board, and allow people that will protect these children to do so,” one parent told the board.
The discussion comes after a teacher in the district presented a list of over 100 books that she believes are inappropriate.
The “Perks of Being a Wallflower” discusses abuse, trauma, and mental health issues. Some parents and school board members believe the content is explicit.
“What is our standard for ensuring good conduct and manners for our students when I can’t even, when I can’t even repeat some of the stuff that is here into this mic, or I wouldn’t, because of the values I have,” school board member Kevin Adams said.
Sue Stevens, however, presented the board with a letter written by a former student who believes the content in the “Perks of Being a Wallflower” is relatable to high school students.
It read, “To remove this text completely misrepresents the purpose of teaching literature. Literature is not artificial reality where everything is okay and nothing hurts. Literature examines the beautiful and the ugly of human experience. Both are relevant in high school.”
Due to Florida laws, the book was officially removed from the district’s optional study because of its sexual content.
The district has placed all of the challenged books in a restricted section of its libraries and students need a parents permission to get access to the books.