Too hot for homework? Buena High weighs banning sexy book
By Maggie Vespa. CREATED Sep 30, 2013
SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - It may be the hottest homework ever assigned, but do steamy sex scenes and explicit language warrant banning a book?
9OYS first brought you this story last week. Now school administrators in Sierra Vista have a decision to make: to ban or not to ban 'Dreaming in Cuban'.
You'll remember the racy read:
“Hugo and Felicia stripped in their room, dissolving easily into one another, and made love against the whitewashed walls. Hugo bit Felicia’s breast and left purplish bands of bruises on her upper thighs. He knelt before her in the tub and massaged black Spanish soap between her legs. He entered her repeatedly from behind.
Part of the national common core curriculum, teachers doled out 'Dreaming in Cuban' to sophomores at Buena High.
"My heart sank," Debbie Stoner told 9OYS last week.
The Buena High parent, whose son brought the book to her attention, called it porn and filed a complaint.
"I was appalled," she said.
Porn or not, the question at Monday's public meeting: is this book bannable?
"Although sex is mentioned, it is not what the book is about," said speaker Christy Gridley.
Tthe majority argued, it is not.
"We're not endorsing what happens in a book. We don't teach MacBeth to teach murder," said Liz Mannering.
After the meeting ended, 9OYS reporter Maggie Vespa asked Stoner, "Were you surprised that a lot of the opinions here tonight were not in agreement with yours?"
"No, I wasn't surprised," she said.
Stoner blamed the timing of Monday's meeting. It started at 4 p.m.
She says many who agree with her couldn't make it.
So, 9OYS decided to give the people of Sierra Vista who didn't make it, the chance to weigh in on the steamy subject matter themselves.
We found Crystal Prince, whose daughter is in the class, assigned the book.
She had never read the infamous paragraph on page 80.
Vespa asked, "So as a mom that doesn't bother you?"
"Nope," she said.
"No problem with your high schooler reading it?" asked Vespa.
"Nope," Prince said again.
And, like in the meeting, a majority we spoke to agreed.
"They see worse stuff than this on most cable channels," said one man.
"I believe in the right to choose what you're going to read," said another.
Our crew only found one who sided with Stoner.
"It's very adult, and to me that should be only for married people," he said.
In all, the day showed us, 'Dreaming in Cuban' remains a debate, a division over high school homework.
Administrators tell 9OYS Buena High's principal plans to make a decision on the book by Friday.
'Dreaming in Cuban' has been pulled from the class.
Sdministrators say in the future, any sensitive material will be cleared with parents ahead of time, so kids can opt out.