According to the Idaho Statesman, some Meridian School District parents and students cautioned the board about banning the book, while others labeled it pornographic and racist. Brady Kissel, a Mountain View High School student, brought a petition with 350 signatures asking the board to keep the book as part of the district’s curriculum.
“It is the very idea that our education is being censored,” she said.
More than 100 people came to the board meeting, with most speaking against keeping the book.
Lonnie Stiles complained that it subjects children to filthy words “we do not speak in our home.”
Stacy Lacy, a Meridian teacher, countered that the book appeals to many teenagers.
She told the story of one boy who was turned off to reading and was in summer school – a boy who was glued to his cellphone instead of doing his work. But when he got the book, he “devoured it and passed the class,” she said.
In the book, Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live.