Our local paper ran an article that one of our local school districts cancelled its contract with Scholastic Books -- "in part" because a parent complained about its publication/distribution of The Golden Compass. At least that's how the paper spun it.
They also pointed out that this deprives our poorest elementary school, 75 percent of whose children need the school to feed them lunch, of a world of books (and I would expect this includes the "more wholesome" fare which could offset any concerns about one book's content. The school has declined to allow parents to run the book order program themselves because it draws a line between those families who have parents with spare time and money, and those who do not, so they're ruining it for everyone regardless of status, and I guess they somehow think this is better.
Nobody has heard of a school district anywhere doing this before.
My immediate temptation of course is to airdrop one copy of the Golden Compass per student over all the district schools. Not that I'm literally capable of same, of course, but I'm really ticked.
I was very poor in elementary school but still managed to order some very nice books through Scholastic. This was forty years ago. Books about Helen Keller's life, horses, Irish heroes, Bambi the book, life in Japan, you name it, I got my hands on it one way or another. What a loss.
A second reading of the article gave me some cryptic hints that the decision "raised other issues" which were supposedly the real reason for the pull -- but said NOTHING about what those issues were.
I have a call in to the school district's legal counsel so perhaps she can explain.
BookEnds Has Moved
1 year ago