Apparently winning both the Pulitzer and Nobel prizes does not guarantee an author easy access to the classroom. A high school English teacher in Shelby, Mich., has been ordered to remove a book by Toni Morrison from her curriculum after parents complained about profanity, sexual references, and violence.
The book is "Song of Solomon," the story of the quest for identity of an African-American man living in Michigan. The title had been one of several that students could choose to read in Jane Glerum's advanced placement English class.
But after protestors handed out information at community and school activities contesting the book's use, Shelby Public Schools Superintendent Dana McGrew ordered "Song of Solomon" removed from the curriculum, although it is still available in the school library.
"That was my decision," McGrew told the Muskegon Chronicle. "It was based on the fact that I have a community divided over this." He added, "It's a very difficult topic to work with because people are very passionate on both sides of the issue."
Some community members are also reported to oppose the use in the school of "The Color Purple," the 1983 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Alice Walker and 1938 anti-war novel "Johnny Got his Gun" by Dalton Trumbo.
McGrew told the Chronicle that he has heard "through the grapevine" that "The Color Purple" is the next book to be targeted by the protesters.