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 Dear Colleagues,

        It has been awhile since this issue has been mentioned,
 but it has only been resolved (in some people's opinions) this
        As you may recall, the book LIVING DOGS AND DEAD LIONS
 by R. Lanny Hunter, a Vietnam War historical fiction, was
 challenged in our school library by a parent.  The school
 library committee chose to keep it, then the committee chosen
 from teachers and community members, agreed to keep it.
 Howeer, the superintendent made an executive, (and
 ill-informed) decision.  The following is an excerpt from the
 letter he sent to the parent who challenged the book:

        "As the majority recommendation concluded, the book is
 not appropriate to the age and/or maturity level of all
 students in a middle school.  The minority recommendation also
 concluded that the book is not appropriate for all middle
 school students.  Therefore, it is my judgment that this book,
 _Living Dogs and Dead Lions_, should not be made available to
 middle school students throughout Albemarle County."

        Pay particular attention to the word "all" in this
 passage.  Does this mean our library should be composed only of
 books that students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade want to, or can
 read?  Selecting books that are equally appropriate for the age
 and maturity levels of nearly 700 students, ages 11 - 15,
 ranging in mental ability from severely mentally haicapped to
 extremely gifted, certainly diminishes the value of the library
 for everyone.

        What is your opinion?

 JJ Towler


             JJ Towler          jjtowler@pen.k12.va.us
         Library Media Specialist, J.T. Henley Middle School
              Route 1, Box 519, Crozet, VA  22932

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