Cody school board votes to keep book in high school library

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Via the Wyoming News Exchange

CODY (WNE) — Park County School District No. 6 board members voted unanimously to keep Margaret Atwood’s novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” on a library shelf at Cody High School.

The action came in the wake of an earlier request to remove the book due to its adult themes and content.

The KEC, Cody’s Educational Resource Complaint Committee, had already recommended the novel be retained in the library.

The school board reviewed the committee’s decision on appeal from the complainant and discussed the novel and the process of review and appeal.

“We have been able to see the actual complaint and the notes from the KEC committee,” board chair Brandi Nelson said. “I find the committee’s position is consistent with what they should be doing.”

“The Handmaid’s Tale” has been the subject of controversy recently in a number of school districts around the country. The dystopian novel explores a wide range of issues regarding power, gender and religious politics.

“I just want to say I support the decision of the KEC committee,” trustee Stefanie Bell said.

The decision came soon after a review by the committee regarding requests to remove two different books, “The Color Purple” and “How to Be an Anti-Racist.”

The nine-member committee, composed of a mix of community members and district staff, voted unanimously to keep those books on the shelf as well.

The board agreed the novel does deal with some adult issues and can be confusing at times, but agreed the KEC committee had done its due diligence.

“I don’t want to ban books. I don’t think that is a good practice,” Nelson said. “I think it also important to support a committee that is made up of community members and important to support a process we believe in.”

 

 

This story was published on June 22, 2022.

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