OCALA, Fla. (WOGX FOX 51) - Fort King Middle School parent Deny Lammardo has to skip some words while reading excerpts from a book her 8th grade daughter brought home from the school’s library.
“We don’t want grown men using the words in this book, we’re holding them accountable in private conversations, but we’re saying it’s okay for a child to read it,” Lammardo said.
She says the young adult novel titled “The facts speak for themselves” by Brock Cole covers some very adult topics and was on her daughter’s reading list for the Accelerated Reader program which recommends the book for grades 9-12.
“Middle school is grades six through eight, so first of all it wasn’t in the age appropriate school, and we shouldn’t be policing the books for them,” Lammardo said.
We asked the district about the process for vetting books before they hit the shelves.
“Looking at the professional literature lists that are out there from the professional organizations that our librarians belong to for specific age groups be it elementary middle or high, many of them belong to those organizations so first I believe that is an appropriate vetting instrument if you will,” said Marion County Schools spokesman Kevin Christian.
Christian said the book was not a required reading, and says there’s a process for parents to challenge books that they feel should be pulled, which happened in this case.
“In this case that book was brought the attention of the principal, he did research on it and felt like it should not be available to students, so when this family provides that book back to the library, that book will be pulled from the shelf and won’t be made available to students at that particular school,” Christian said.
But Lammardo says the damage is already done.
“It’s already affected my daughter, the language has already been put in her head,” Lammardo said.