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ASHEVILLE—After Lisa Baldwin, a former member of the Buncombe County Board of Education, recently complained about a novel included in her child’s 10th grade honors English class at A.C. Reynolds High School, a flurry of messages commenced, according to newly released public records.
Baldwin has appealed the official decision, which can be read below, to keep the book in the curriculum.
The Kite Runner, a 2003 bestselling novel by Khaled Hosseini about an Afghani boy, is the subject of 882 pages of Buncombe school system emails that reveal the tensions in the controversy and can be read below. They were released following a public-records request.
Baldwin weighed in many times, as did parents, former students, school system officials and representatives of anti-censorship advocacy groups. (Carolina Public Press published a profile of Baldwin in 2012.)
On her website, Baldwin wrote that “The Kite Runner is a dark and disturbing adult fiction novel set in war-torn Afghanistan and has been frequently challenged by concerned parents for its sexually explicit content.” A release from the school system, however, said that the book had been reviewed by the school’s Media/Technology Advisory Committee on May 11. Committee members determined, the release said, that the book “possesses sufficient literary, thematic, and aesthetic merits to warrant its inclusion for study at teacher discretion.”
Baldwin has appealed a school media committee’s decision to keep including The Kite Runner in classes. On Thursday (May 28), she asked that another review, the results of which are pending, be conducted.
For the record: The announcement from Buncombe Schools and the committee report saying the book passes muster
For the record: Emails surrounding the controversyBuncombe County Schools Kite Runner controversy emails (PDF)
Buncombe County Schools Kite Runner controversy emails (Text)