Summer assigned book creating controversy for Floyd Co. parents

FLOYD COUNTY, IN (WAVE) - Sex and drinking is what some parents see when they look at their child's summer reading list at one Kentuckiana school. The book incoming freshman students will read for honors English class at Floyd Central High School is outraging some of their parents.

"The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" may be award-winning, but some of the topics in it aren't winning any points with parents.

When emails started making the rounds about the book FCHS would require his soon to be freshman daughter to read this summer, Mike DeLuca had his doubts.

"At first I thought why even broach these subjects when there's so many other great things out there to read," he said. "There's discussion about masturbation, I think spousal abuse, drunk driving and obvious profanity and stuff like that."

The school's principal said he was on the committee that picked the book and they picked it because it highlighted diversity, overcoming adversity and would appeal to young readers.

But in an email, one Floyd Central parent said: "Why should a school encourage students to read words and about subjects that they would be punished for saying otherwise?"

Another parent said the subjects were too mature for high school students.

"At age 14, there's probably a good group that can't handle that and then there's probably a bunch that can handle that," DeLuca said.

DeLuca said after a lot of thought and back and forth emails with other parents about the appropriateness of the assignment, he started thinking differently than he did at first.

"These teachers know what they're picking for the students," he said. "They do work with the students everyday."

If its required of his honors student daughter, she'll read it.

"I've never had any issues with anything else that she's ever read or watched or anything like that that she's gone out and acted out," he said.

A letter also went out to parents this week from the school's principal, offering a different choice for required summer reading for freshman honors students. He says that's part of a school board policy requiring schools to offer an alternative.

However, one parent said that's not good enough, because her child will have to leave the room when the class talks about the original assignment.

Copyright 2011 WAVE News. All rights reserved.