Broomfield parents petition to remove 'The Bluest Eye' from approved reading list

Opponents launch a petition in support of novel

BROOMFIELD, Colo. - Censorship or common sense?

Some Broomfield parents are petitioning to have Toni Morrison's 1970 novel "The Bluest Eye" removed from the school district's approved reading lists, but others are fighting to keep it, calling it censorship.

"It's kind of in a league of its own," said Erin Gee, standing outside Legacy High School with a group of parents who feel the novel could be harmful for high schoolers. "It goes into great detail about incest, rape and pedophilia from the perspective of a pedophile acting out on a child."

She and other parents launched a petition to have the book removed from the Adams 12 5 Star School's approved reading lists, and they received more than 450 signatures.

View petition here: http://ch7ne.ws/16wr4a9

"When you look at the research, there is a compelling argument on how this has negative effects on adolescents," said Dr. Jill Manning, a family therapist and researcher whose children attend school in the district.

Manning referenced a 2010 report from the American Academy of Pediatrics on youth and media stating: "During the past 50 years, thousands of research studies have revealed that the media can be a powerful teacher of children and adolescents and have a profound impact on their health."

Legacy High School student Bailey Cross read the novel last year in her AP English class, and when she heard about the campaign against it, she launched a petition of her own.  View petition here: http://ch7ne.ws/1340yqR

"I don’t think the book should be banned for all students just because a select group of parents don’t want their students reading it," said Bailey.

Several teachers at Legacy High School support the more recent petition, arguing that removing "The Bluest Eye" because of parental pressure is a slippery slope, and that censorship is not the answer.

"Once we remove this book, and we chose another book on the approved list, for example, 'The Color Purple' there’s going to be things in there parents don’t like," said Tricia Scow, who teaches the book in her AP English classes.

Opponents of the book said they are not suggesting a ban. The book would still be in libraries and available for independent study.

The supporters of the novel have until Monday to present their case, and Cross said they have more than 500 signatures.

The school board may make a decision on the issue at its August meeting.

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