Democratic Club Calls for Support for Challenged Textbooks
Plymouth Democratic Club urges those in favor of keeping 'Waterland' and 'Beloved' in classroom to speak at school board meeting.
The Plymouth Democratic Club has sent a mass email in response to a parent group lobbying for the removal of Graham Swift's Waterland and Toni Morrison's Beloved.
Waterland was removed from the AP classrooms where it was taught last month after a parent of a 17-year-old student at Plymouth-Canton Educational Park complained to Superintendent Jeremy Hughes. The same parents — Matt and Barb Dame — challenged Beloved, which currently is undergoing review by the district.
At a Monday meeting, the Parents & Community Advocates for PCCS, or P-CAP, parents shared concerns about the contents of the two books, citing gratuitous sexual descriptions and violence and questioning the books' educational value.
The group said it will follow up with school administrators to ensure existing rules are enforced and to make sure proper protocol is followed when assigning required texts to students. The group called on concerned parents to attend tonight's 7 p.m. school board meeting at the E.J. McClendon Educational Center, 454 S. Harvey St. in Plymouth.
The Democratic club is calling on parents and supporters to do the same, but with its focus on keeping the books in classrooms. In its email, the group said the books, which "have long been on the reading list for AP English are currently under attack."
The Democratic Club cited the parent group's political ties in its email, characterizing the group as one "with tea party ties."
While the group members' political affiliations were not discussed at the Monday meeting or on the P-CAP website, Matt Dame, who campaigned unsuccessfully in the November 2011 school board election as a slate of candidates endorsed and funded in part by the Wayne 11th Congressional District Republican Committee, has previously been active with Rattle With Us, a tea party group in Michigan. The slate also included Mike Andro, Mark Horvath and Mike Maloney. Horvath and Maloney earned seats on the board.
"If they are successful, we will be sure to see more of this extremist censorship," the Democratic Club's email said.