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Cedarburg School District to consider future of book 'Kite Runner' in curriculum

Posted at 5:17 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 18:17:38-04

CEDARBURG, Wisc. — A required reading material is causing controversy within the Cedarburg School District.

The debate over the book began with two parents who argued the graphic content is too much for tenth grade students.

" I read the book, it's a good book. I just don't think it's for this age group. Adults, perfectly fine,” said Christine Grimm.

Christine Grimm and her husband, David, made their case about why the novel "Kite Runner" shouldn't be read in tenth grade literature at Cedarburg High School.

The book, set in war-torn Afghanistan, touches on topics such as sexual assault, public murder, and child sex trafficking.

“The fact that it's an anchor text and they're requiring it by all and we just wanted to have a couple options,” David Grimm said.

The Grimm's aren't the first parents to bring up concerns. In 2008, several years after its release, The American Library Association listed Kite Runner as one of its most frequently challenged books.

Now it's up to Cedarburg's school leadership to consider what to do next.

Committee members present on Wednesday ranked their choice of three options: Keep the book as a requirement, make it one of several optional readings, or to give the book new a placement in a different grade level.

“In two years, they are going to be able to legally vote. They will be out of our households,” said Liz Smith, a teacher and board member who wants to keep ‘Kite Runner’ as required reading.

Principal Casey Bowe noted having several choices could hinder communal learning opportunities for students.

"We might be able to pick all these books to hit the justice and redemption theme, but they're going to be hitting on it in different ways, at different times and it's a more challenging learning environment,” he said.

Most of the group present with a vote decided to recommend the book still be read, but somewhere else in the curriculum.

The recommendations will now go to the superintendent's office for consideration.

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