TX Parent Drops Challenge To Poverty Book, Cites ‘Unbalanced’ Review

In this May 4, 2012, photo, Franklin College student Scott Moore, left, goes over a test with students in Chris Wood's AP U.S. History class at Whiteland High School in Whiteland, Ind. The Indiana Department of Educa... In this May 4, 2012, photo, Franklin College student Scott Moore, left, goes over a test with students in Chris Wood's AP U.S. History class at Whiteland High School in Whiteland, Ind. The Indiana Department of Education and local high schools have been encouraging more students to take Advanced Placement courses in order to better prepare them for college and the workforce. The incentive to earn college credits for a fraction of the price through Advanced Placement courses also has been prompting more local students to take them. (AP Photo/The Daily Journal, Scott Roberson) MORE LESS
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A Highland Park, Texas, parent last week dropped her challenge to a book on poverty due to concerns that the school’s process for reviewing her challenge was unfair, according to the Dallas Morning News.

“The committee membership should be objective and without participant prejudice to ensure integrity without conflict,” Meg Bakich, the parent who challenged the book, wrote in an email to the Dallas Morning News.

Bakich protested the Highland Park school district’s decision to have students read “The Working Poor: Invisible in America,” by journalist David Shipler, which depicts Americans living near the poverty line. In her formal challenge, Bakich complained that the book was “sexually explicit.”

She told online talk show “Women on the Wall” that she didn’t believe students should read about “social issues” in English class and called the book “Marxist.” Bakich said she was concerned that English class has become “a year-long undermining of American values.”

After she filed her complaint in December, and the school formed a review committee of teachers, students and parents to decide whether the district should continue teaching the book.

School officials announced in an email on Thurdsday that the challenge had been dropped, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The school district is considering changes to the process for choosing books and addressing challenges to reading selections, according to the Dallas Morning News. “The Working Poor” had been banned by the school’s superintendent last year, but was later reinstated before Bakich challenged the book.

Bakich told the Dallas Morning News that she hoped the Highland Park school district would create a “fair and balanced committee of professional educators and parents.”

“We fully expect the board to take their time and carefully review the new policy and procedure to ensure an equitable outcome,” she said.

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