'It's porn': Parent files complaint with district over erotic material in book
SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Book critics call Cristina Garcia's "Dreaming in Cuban" dazzling, remarkable, a jewel of a novel.
"I was appalled," said Debbie Stoner, a mother of a 10th grader at Buena High School.
Stoner disagrees with the critics and filed a complaint with the district.
"I mean it's porn," said Stoner. 9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito asked, "So you believe this is definitely pornography?" She replied, "I do believe it's porn."
The mother of ten says she didn't believe her son at first, but then she took a look at the book herself.
"Sure enough on page 80, it's right there," said Stoner.
Here is the excerpt in question:
“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.
“Felicia learned what pleased him. She tied his arms above his head with their underclothing and slapping him sharply when he asked.
“‘You’re my bitch,’” Hugo said, groaning.
“In the morning he left, promising to return in the summer.”
Miller says it's just inappropriate and illegal.
"We were truly sorry," said Sierra Vista superintendent Kriss Hagerl. "We did not know it was there."
The book is part of the Common Core, a set of standards for curriculum across the country. School officials say the book is not about sex. That it's just one passage, but they do admit they should have taken a closer look. It's why Hagerl pulled the book. But Stoner says the damage is done. The excerpt read aloud in class.
"My heart sank because my child's already sat through that," said Stoner. "And now his mind is seared."
"We apologize for this misstep and hope it can be used as a learning experience," said Hagerl.
It's just not the learning experience one mother thought her kids were getting in an English class at Buena.
"Handing them porn is not protecting them," said Stoner.
The district has formed a committee that will decide whether the book will stay off the shelves permanently. If it returns to the classroom, parents could opt their children out. There will also be a meeting to give the public a chance to weigh in.
Garcia told The Associated Press on Thursday that she'd be willing to visit Sierra Vista to answer questions.