BOONE, N.C. -- The Watauga County Board of Education voted Thursday 3-2 to keep a banned book in the school curriculum.
The school board had to move the meeting to the Watauga County Courthouse because of the size of the expected crowd.
Chris Brook, Legal Director for the ACLU-NC Legal Foundation, released the following statement:
"We applaud the Watauga County Board of Education for doing the right thing and supporting the freedom to read. Sophomore honors English students in Watauga schools will now be able to once again read 'The House of the Spirits' with the benefit of faculty led classroom discussions, and parents who object to assigned texts still have the option to choose an alternative reading option."
The discussion started last fall when the mother of a sophomore at Watauga High read the book that teachers assigned to her son. She then asked the school to ban "The House of the Spirits."
The book tackles some tough themes, including abortion, rape and prostitution. Schools across the country include the novel in their curriculums. It's been taught in Boone for several years.
NBC Charlotte tried to reach the mother leading the fight to ban the book but she never returned the calls. The book has been taken out of the curriculum for this year, but depending on how the board votes, teachers could include "The House of the Spirits" this semester.
Professor Craig Fishcer teaches English at Appalachian State and his son read the book at Watauga High School last year. He spoke out against the possible ban at a school board meeting earlier this month.
"I completely understand parents who look at book and say this is a little too adult for my kid and opt for the alternative, but I don't understand removing it completely from the curriculum and not allowing anybody to read it. It's a slippery slope. Once you start taking books out of one curriculum, you can take other books out."