Tomas Rivera's novel "And the Earth Did Not Devour Him"
Profanity laced paragraph in Tomas Rivera's novel "And the Earth Did Not Devour Him"
Clarke County School Superintendent Philip Lanoue
Clarke County's Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School
Clarke County parent Beth Lowery
Clarke County School Board Vice-Chairman David Huff
ATHENS, Ga. -- Clarke County mother Beth Lowery wants a book in her daughter's middle school taken off the 7th grade reading list.
She doesn't want it banned, but just not given out as an assignment.
"An R rated movie is not allowed in a classroom; the words in this book would make it an R rated movie," she told 11 Alive News.
She's talking about Tomas Rivera's novel, "And the Earth Did Not Devour Him".
It's a coming-of-age story about a Mexican youth whose family are migrant workers in the 1940s and '50s.
Lowery doesn't object to the subject, just to some of the language, especially to a paragraph on page 84 that's laced with about 20 profane words we won't print here.
She began her objections last February when her 12-year-old daughter was assigned the book at Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School.
"She knew that the words were not appropriate to say, but by having them in her book, it made them seem appropriate to see, to read, to hear," Lowery said.
A few months ago, Clarke County School Superintendent Philip Lanoue refused to remove it, but gave parents a chance to have their children read a different book.
The Clarke County Board of Education voted 5 to 2 to send it back to him for reconsideration.
When Lanoue didn't change his mind, Lowery appealed to the Georgia Board of Education.
The state board sent the issue back to the Clarke County board saying it had not held a proper hearing.
On Monday the Clarke County board voted 3-2 to uphold the superintendent's original decision.
"It is still a book that teachers may choose to make a reading assignment, but parents have the option to opt out of that if they choose to," Board Vice-Chairman David Huff told 11 Alive.
Lowery still doesn't think that's good enough and now plans to appeal to the state board again.
"First of all, how many parents actually read those permission slips that come home? Second, on the permission slip is it going to just say, 'has inappropriate language'?" she asked.
"It's more than inappropriate language, it's extremely inappropriate language," she added.