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Many thanks to all those who responded to my questions about how to =
handle having the book Go ask Alice which is being challenged by the =
Superintendent of Schools.  Along with your ideas, many of you suggested =
that we go through the challenge process.

 We have now entered the actual challenge phase of this issue since he =
would not accept my proposal to have to book available to only high =
school students and to keep it with books which discuss sexuality, etc.  =
I have contacted the ALA and Office of Intellectual Freedom and am =
waiting to hear from them.  The committee has been selected to will =
review the book.  The Superintendent (who has "a responsibility to do =
this on behalf of the parents and students in the district") has told me =
that if the committee rules against him, he will take it to the next =
step (Board of Education).  He is most certain to win at that step since =
the Board is very much influenced by him and his decisions.

Any suggestions or advice on what I should present at the meeting would =
be very helpful.  I want to get book reviews for Go Ask Alice as well as =
information on challenging, etc.  Also, I am feeling very stressed about =
this situation.  The superintendent seems to think that I am defending =
this book because it is my responsibility as a librarian.  However, I am =
doing it because I truly believe in first amendment rights, etc.  Since =
the challenge is coming not from a parent but from an educator and the =
chief school administrator of my district, I am feeling as though my =
credibility and good judgement is being questioned along with this book. =
 I truly fear that if and when the committee votes to keep this book, =
the School Board will definitely go against the committee and remove it =
from the shelves.  I feel this will open the door for criticism from =
parents and the School Board alike as to the content of the materials in =
the Library Media Center.  The Superintendent has always backed me and =
said he would continue to do so if any of that occurred, but I think =
this will get out of hand given the "small-town" thinking of this =
working-class community and his influence with the School Board and =
parents after 30+ years in the district.

I am trying to put things in perspective and not take things personally, =
but this issue is one of great importance to me.  If any of you have =
been through something similar and can help me to deal with this, I =
would really appreciate your input.

Thanks for all your help.

Elisa De Nicholas, LMS
Wallington JR/SR HS
234 Main Avenue, Wallington, NJ  07057

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