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Watauga County Upholds the Freedom to Read!

Since October 2013 Watauga County has facing a controversial ‘book challenge’ requiring three hearings to determine whether or not to retain Isabel Allende’s “The House of the Spirits” in the Watauga High School honors English curriculum.¬†On February 27, 2014 the final decision was made to keep the book in the curriculum in a 3 to 2 vote by the Watauga County Board of Education.

This link has thorough coverage of the final hearing including final hearing audio files, and a series of links to 16 earlier articles on this issue. The testimony of teacher Mary Kent Whitaker is a compelling explanation of why it is appropriate and in fact important to teach this particular book to her classes.

The ACLU-NC traveled to Boone yesterday for a news conference on the issue in collaboration with students, teachers, and families; and today released a statement applauding the BoE for supporting the freedom to read. During the event, Isabel Allende spoke via this video directly to Watauga County.