WV Parents Concerned By Required Reading for Schoolchildren

The following are excerpts from an October 12, 2007 article appearing on

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“Parents in Nitro book controversy meet”
By Davin White, – October 12, 2007

Two Nitro High School parents said they don’t want to ban books from the school “” they just want more of a choice.

A handful of parents and community residents met Thursday night at a church near Cross Lanes to share information and discuss what students are reading in Kanawha County schools.

Karen Frazier, the parent who first requested that Nitro students not read Pat Conroy’s “Beach Music,” organized the meeting in an activity building next to Baber-Agee United Methodist Church.

Complaints from Frazier and Leona Tyree, another parent, led to the suspension of “Beach Music” and “The Prince of Tides,” another Conroy novel. Each complained of some aspects of the novels, including violence, child rape, sexual assault and suicide.

Board members have gotten involved in the latest debate. Bill Raglin and Pete Thaw do not want books that feature what they call “deviant behavior” or are not age appropriate.

Just seven people attended the advertised meeting Thursday. Yet Frazier said she already handed out nearly 40 packets of information featuring excerpts from “Beach Music” and “The Prince of Tides,” forms to write complaints to school officials, school board members’ phone numbers and more.

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