Who was involved?

The Parent

Tim Coley challenged this book because of its explicit nature. He is quoted by WLOS saying, “”It’s astounding really that somebody thinks it’s OK for kids to be reading this in school,Coley said. “As a Christian single dad, that’s not the values I teach my kids, and it’s certainly not OK for them to have to read a book like that.” See his interview with WLOS here.

The Teacher

We were unable to identify the teacher who originally assigned this book, so we do not know the exact curricular purpose the text had.

The Class

The Bluest Eye was assigned to an Honors English III class in the fall semester of 2017 at North Buncombe High School. The Bluest Eye has been part of the curriculum for this class for  several years, though we do not know the exact year it was added.

The Principal

Dr. Samantha Sircy is the principal at North Buncombe High School. Dr. Samantha Sircey has been an educator for 20 years serving as a social studies teacher, an assistant principal, and principal of North Buncombe Middle School. Currently, she is the principal of North Buncombe High School. A life-long native, she is a graduate of Buncombe County Schools, and received her BA in History from UNCA. Dr. Sircey completed her Master of School Administration and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at WCU.  Interview

The County Department Head

Eric Grant is the Buncombe County Head of 6-12 English Language Arts. Because the school level decision was satisfactory to all parties involved, Grant played a very limited role in this challenge. He was however interviewed by WLOS in regards to this case.  Interview

The County Head of Communications

Stacia Harris is the Buncombe County Media and Marketing Head. Stacia Harris has extensive experience in television news and promotions and marketing. A graduate of Wake Forest University (’01), Stacia worked in the Winston-Salem/ Forsyth County Schools communications department for four years after graduation. She then transitioned to TV news, and then promotions. Over nearly a decade, she worked in Nebraska, West Virginia and Virginia at various TV stations. In 2015, she moved to Asheville to accept a position in the BCS communications department.  Interview


Others Interviewed

These individuals were not involved in the North Buncombe High School challenge against The Bluest Eye in fall 2017. We interviewed them to gather insight based on their professional expertise in library science, studies on Toni Morrison, or, in Lisa Baldwin’s case, past involvement with the Buncombe County School Board and prior book challenges.

Dr. Deborah James, Toni Morrison Scholar and Professor of Literature at UNCA  Transcript

Lisa Baldwin, Buncombe County parent, former member of the Buncombe County School Board, and host and writer of the blog Buncombe Students First   Transcript

Gene Hyde, Head Archivist at UNCA’s Ramsey Library  Transcript

Amanda Glenn-Bradley, Research Librarian at UNCA’s Ramsey Library  Transcript

Ken Miller, Librarian at Pack Memorial Library  Transcript

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