The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
Some Wilson County parents were dismayed this week to learn of a Banned Books Display that was sponsored by Books A Million in Providence Shopping Center in Mount Juliet, Tennessee.
At least one of the books in the display at Green Hill High School has been recently reviewed by a committee tasked with addressing issues that parents have brought up over inappropriate content many feel is obscene and/or pornographic in nature.
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Some of the books displayed included, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, and Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. According to parents, each book was accompanied by a personal recommendation from one of the teachers in the English Language Arts (ELA) department and a sign that read:
The English Department’s Favorite Banned Books!
Books Donated by Books A Million in Providence.
Students can get 20% off school books at BAM in Providence!
Father to three children in Wilson County Schools and Mount Juliet City Commissioner, Bill Trivett spoke to The Tennessee Conservative yesterday and informed us that Principal Kevin Dawson had given permission for the ELA department to create the display and after significant pushback from parents in the community, had decided to have the display taken down.
Trivett called the school on Monday to ask Principal Dawson two questions: one was a query over why the school library was closed when students still needed a quiet place to study, the other was about the display.
Trivett says that parents in Wilson County have become more engaged about what is happening in the schools that their children attend with 40-50 families now regularly attending school board meetings. This isn’t the first time that he has been unhappy with how the school handles issues. Trivett recounted the way Wilson County approached instruction on abstinence in the past by hiring a third party who showed graphic and inappropriate photographs as part of their presentation.
Knowing that Dawson approved the Banned Books Display, Trivett believes that Dawson should ask himself in the future if his plan for students “is in agreement with Wilson County’s expectations.”
When asked by Trivett why Dawson had the display taken down, Dawson stated it was because he was tired of parents calling and complaining.
The Tennessee Conservative reached out to both Principal Dawson and Books A Million for a statement but at the time of printing had not heard back from either.
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.