Guilford Co. parents want changes to required reading lists
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GREENSBORO — Hundreds of parents in Guilford County are protesting a piece of literature that has been required reading for upperclassmen in some schools for at least 10 years, The Handmaid's Tale written by Margaret Atwood.
Lisa Reid was looking up her son's required reading list for Grimsley High School when she saw the list came with a warning.
"I had never seen a warning label on a public school reading list," said Reid.
It warns of mature content and after these parents read the book, they said it was not appropriate for teenagers.
"They need to be taught in a responsible manner that doesn't allow pornographic material to be read by our students," said parent Cathy Barnette said.
Right now the schools offer an opt-out clause for students, but the parents want to take that step further. And many agree. They have gathered about 2,300 signatures from parents and students. But they want to be clear, they are not asking that the book be prohibited in school, just excluded from the syllabus.
"The petition does not talk about banning books. It talks about setting standards that do not denigrate religion," said Reid.
Reid has brought her concerns and petition to the Guilford County School Board, and while no official response or action has been declared, some school board members are supportive of her efforts.
"I just wonder sometimes how books like this get on there," Paul Daniels said.
Daniels said he agrees that there should be standards that are in line with what the schools already promote in their values.
"We shouldn't be denigrating anybody's faith, not in required reading," said Daniels.
A controversial discussion that will likely continue.