The Art of Racing in the Rain Book Banning Debate Continues

The Highland Park Independent School District in Dallas County, Texas, has been embroiled in a battle over book banning since last fall. It was during September’s National Banned Books Week that Highland Park’s Superintendent banned seven books from the high school curriculum after parents objected to the books’ content and maturity. Leading the pack was Garth Stein‘s contemporary classic The Art of Racing in the Rain. Readers familiar with Stein’s book were shocked at its banning: this is a book about faith, love, and resilience in the face of life’s inevitable challenges and heartaches. It is about overcoming obstacles in order to live a good, harmonious life. And it is told from the perspective of a dog.

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

By the end of 2014, all seven banned books had been reinstated into Highland Park’s curriculum and the debate about censorship had simmered down. Nevertheless, at the January 20 school board meeting it became clear that this debate is far from over: an angry parent has appealed Highland Park’s decision to reinstate The Art of Racing in the Rain into sophomore-level English classes.

As Tavia Hunt, a Highland Park parent and a member of the Reconsideration Committee, said in a recent interview with the Breibart Times:  “The selection process needs to be taken out of the hands of the individuals who want to uphold the current status quo”. Another concerned parent chimed in that “parent involvement [in curricular review] must bring value to the education process.”

It seems the fate of The Art of Racing in the Rain remains uncertain despite this winter’s constructive dialogue.

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