News of Harford County’s book ban spreads to other states

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    As Harford County Schools superintendent Jacqueline Haas defends her position to remove The Chocolate War from the county’s ninth-grade class “Living in a Contemporary World,” news of the book ban is capturing the attention of media outlets far beyond Maryland. Here are a few Google News links to papers that ran stories on the book ban in the past few hours:

    Maryland school bans book over vulgarities, gay slurs
    EDGE Boston, MA – 1 hour ago
    AP. Harford County schools superintendent has removed “The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier from the high school curriculum after receiving complaints from

    Superintendent Defends Dropping Book From Reading List
    WBAL, MD – 3 hours ago
    BEL AIR, Md. — Harford County schools superintendent Jacqueline Haas defended her decision to ban a book about bullying to the school board on Tuesday.
    Md. county pulls The Chocolate War from curriculum
    First Amendment Center, TN – 9 hours ago
    By AP. ABERDEEN, Md. — Harford County schools superintendent has removed The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier from the high school curriculum after receiving
    Maryland District Bans Bullying Book
    Post Chronicle – 16 hours ago
    By Staff. A Maryland school district has removed a book on bullying from its high school curriculum because of vulgar language.
    Maryland district bans bullying book
    ImediNews, Georgia – 17 hours ago
    ABERDEEN, Md., April 10 (UPI) — A Maryland school district has removed a book on bullying from its high school curriculum because of vulgar language.
    Harford school superintendent to drop novel from
    ABC2 News, MD – Apr 9, 2007
    BEL AIR, Md. (AP) – Robert Cormier’s 1974 novel, The Chocolate War, has been pulled from Harford County’s required reading list for ninth graders after some
    Harford school superintendent to drop novel from reading list—
    WMDT, MD – Apr 9, 2007
    Robert Cormier’s 1974 novel, The Chocolate War, has been pulled from Harford County’s required reading list for ninth graders after some parents objected to
    Book-banning decision defended
    Baltimore Sun, MD – 6 hours ago
    By Mary Gail Hare. The Harford County schools superintendent defended her decision to ban a teen-oriented novel about bullying from high school classes,
    Book removed from Harford class
    Baltimore Sun, MD – Apr 10, 2007
    By Cassandra A. Fortin. Responding to complaints from about 40 parents, the Harford County schools superintendent has decided to remove a book from the high
    Harford Schools Remove Novel From Curriculum
    WJZ, MD – 12 hours ago
    (WJZ/AP) ABERDEEN, Md. Harford County schools superintendent has removed “The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier from the high
    Parent Don’t Want the Chocolate Factory Read
    Associated Content, CO – 16 hours ago
    The book follows Jerry who is bullied because he refuses to participate in a school fundraiser. Almost 40 parents asked that The Chocolate War was removed

    Maryland school district removes novel from curriculum over gay
    The Advocate, CA – 18 hours ago
    After receiving complaints from about 40 parents, a Maryland school district has pulled a young-adult novel from its curriculum in part because of its

    According to the Baltimore Sun’s story on Haas’ presentation to the Harford County school board last night, it appears that time might have been an issue:

    “This unit was developed in a short period of time with no time to examine multiple books,” Haas said, adding she was concerned that no other literary works were considered. “I had to decide whether this book was appropriate to this unit.”

    The story said that a committee would review The Chocolate War alongside other as yet unnamed books to decide what would be suitable for the course. The committee is to report back to Haas by May 2008. I imagine that should give them plenty of time to get the course up and running before my third-grader makes it to high school.

    In the meantime, I’m on chapter 7. All the violence in the book up to this point has been inflicted on the high school football field and in the mind of the scheming Archie Costello. Oh, and there has been some references to girlie magazines. But I think I can handle it.