Other Book Challenges in Buncombe County

There are not many documented cases of book challenges in Buncombe county. We found four.

2011-2012, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, challenged for inappropriate language.

2011-2012, My Dad lost His Job, author unknown, challenged because “The circumstances were really not ones that they wanted their child exposed to.”

Between 2012-2015, Kat Kong by Dav Pikey, challenged because a parent did not approve of “the overall message that curiosity was wrong and killed the cat”.

In 2015, however, a very big challenge happened that changed the way Buncombe County Schools approached book Challenges.

In 2015, parent and former county school board member Lisa Baldwin challenged the use of The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini at Reynolds High School in an Honors English II class. The Kite Runner was chosen by a teacher to be used in the place of All Quiet on the Western Front. Baldwin took issue with the replacement decision and preferred the classic novel be taught. She also cited The Kite Runner’s language, adult themes and low reading level.

Prior to and during this case, it was county policy to  remove instructional materials from the classroom as soon as they are challenged, even if they are in the middle of being taught. For this challenge, The Kite Runner was challenged while it was being used in the classroom, meaning that it could no longer be taught until the challenge process was completed and a final decision was made. After the book was challenged, the school board made the decision to retain the book in the class room, but because of that interruption, there was no way that the students could get the full educational purpose of the novel as the teacher originally intended. After this challenge, Board Policy was changed so that books could not be removed from the class room until the challenge and appeal process was completed, so as to not disrupt student learning.

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