The classic non-fiction novel In Cold Blood features a brutal quadruple murder committed by two ex-cons, one of whom was a short guy. This detail — which seems pretty innocuous compared to, um, the murders — so troubled the parent of a Parkway District high school freshman that it warranted an entry on a list of books targeted for banishment.
"One perpetrator is short,” reads the parental comment. “When the parent’s freshman child read this book, the student over-identified with the perpetrator because he/she was short as well."
The entry for In Cold Blood is among nearly two dozen titles featured in “Parkway Books with Parental Concern,” a list that represents a baffling tour of some fantastic pieces of literature as experienced through the eyes of ludicrously over-protective parents.
Dated May 2016, the list is maintained on the website of Protect Parkway Students. While the group is not officially affiliated with the school district, it claims to be comprised of “parents and community members that represent all 4 areas/zones of the district.”
Judging by the contents of the website, Protect Parkway Students was seemingly founded in 2015 as way of marshaling opposition to a set of proposed (and ultimately approved) revisions to the district’s sexual education curriculum.
But beyond supporting their particular view of abstinence-based sex-ed programs, the group also took aim at books considered unfit for middle-school and high-school students. Like other banned book lists, the selections are mostly works by non-white authors. The list encourages parents to report “inappropriate literature” to school staff and to request the offending work’s removal.
Among the alleged literary infractions:
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