Too sexy for 6th Grader?

Craig Smith

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Too sexy for 6th Grader?

CREATED Sep. 24, 2013

MARANA, Ariz (KGUN9-TV) - A mom in Marana says her school library checked out a book too sexy for her 6th grader.

If we tried to quote parts of the book Lisa McMann's book, "Wake," that Joni O'Neil is upset about we'd have to use asterisks and you'd see through them anyway.

She says: "It's very inappropriate to be in a school district. The language in it, the ideas kids can get from it…I don't know what I can say, what ideas they can get."

Let's face it.  It's no revelation that sex sells and some books that are regarded as great literature do have some sexy passages in them but the question is are they suitable for kids at a 6th grade level?
"Sex crazed dreams"---that's part of the sales pitch right on the back cover.
And it does seem pretty popular.  The school web site says it has five copies.  When we checked, four copies were out.  Number five may be the one Joni O'Neil had her son Julian turn in.

He says, "I think it's kind of a good book, like a book that is exciting, like a book that everyone would want to read." 

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith said: "You mom thinks it's a little too exciting...But is this one of these things where word goes through the school, like, oh yeah, you got to see this book?"

Julian: "Yeah."
The Marana School District says it uses nationally available screening tools to help decide which students can check out which books.

District spokesperson Tamara Crawley says, "What we found with this particular book is that the reading level for this book is down to 3rd Grade. What we chose in this district is to make it as a young adult book which means 6th Grade and above."
Joni O'Neil's son confirms the book is for sixth grade and up, and carries a warning sticker, but he and his mom question if it should even be in a high school.

The Marana District and Ms O'Neil conflict over what happened when she went to the school to complain.  The District says she stormed out before they could give her the paperwork for a formal complaint.  She says no one said anything about any paperwork.
The District says it's making arrangements for her to file a formal complaint now.

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