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"Slaughterhouse Five" ban is reversed – sort of – at a Missouri school

"Slaughterhouse Five" and another banned book are now back in the Republic High School library – but must stay in a restricted area.

By Husna Haq / September 21, 2011

Is it the ultimate irony? "Slaughterhouse Five," Kurt Vonnegut's novel about life in a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp, will now reside in a "literary gulag" in a Missouri high school.

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Kurt Vonnegut would have enjoyed this.

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Two months after banning two books, including Mr. Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse Five,” the Republic, Missouri, school board has voted to allow them back into the library.

In late July after a yearlong fight, the school board voted unanimously to ban Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse Five,” and Sarah Ockler’s “Twenty Boy Summer,” based on the complaints of Republic resident Wesley Scroggins, a professor of management at Missouri State University, and the father of several home-schooled children. School officials then said the decision was not a judgment call on the merit of the books, but a decision on whether the books were appropriate for high school students.

The move brought about weeks of heated debate in Republic, and, well, the school board changed its mind.

In fact, the Republic school board revised its book policy entirely. Under the revised policy, the board said it will allow challenged books to be kept in a secure section of all Republic school libraries. Only parents who allow their children to read a challenged book will be allowed to check the book out, according to the Houston Chronicle.

"It does keep the books there in the library, and if parents want their kids to read the book, by all means come and check it out," said Superintendent Vern Minor. "It still puts the decision in parents' hands."

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