Girard Board Votes To Continue Use of Terkel's Working
Parts of Studs Terkel's book, Working, will continue to be required reading for a high-school class in Girard, Pa., despite objections of some students and their parents.
But last week's unanimous decision by Girard's nine-member school board may be challenged in court, said Linda M. Burns, whose son is a member of the senior English class for vocational-education students.
The school board voted to uphold the assignment of the book, according to Alice Fulgenzio, president of the board, when the students' teacher said she would require only sections that do not include "vulgar or obscene language."
The book's language was the primary basis for objections lodged by five students and their parents, who had requested that the teacher provide alternate reading.
Mrs. Burns said that her attorney is considering court action to force the school board to permit the students to read another book.
Ms. Fulgenzio said the school board supported the teacher's choice of assigned reading.
Parents maintain that because the teacher "has freedom of expression and freedom of selection [of curriculum materials] that the kids should also have freedom of choice. But you can't give school kids all the freedom they might want," she said. "They might decide not to read at all."--M.L.W.