9th grade reading assignment littered with profanity; LISD judgement questioned

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A 9th grade reading assignment has some parents questioning LISD's judgment. The book is littered with profanity and some parents say it is inappropriate for their young teens.

The book is called "I'm Down," a non-fiction reading assignment for some of LISD's 9th grade English classes. KCBD NewsChannel 11 took the book to the South Plains Mall to ask people to read random passages and tell us what they thought. Skimming through the book, several passages caught them by surprise.

"Oh... Oh my gosh. Are you kidding me what grade is this? 9th grade so that's 14 year olds... Oh my gosh, wow, it's appalling," said Amy Coxs. "Good God Almighty, for 9th grade, no way," said Jill Grace, mother of a 16-year-old. "That's kind of encouraging them to learn about that stuff and I don't agree with that," said Michael Davis.

Many of the pages are covered with expletives and sexual innuendos. "I'm very liberal with my reading, but yea, this isn't for 9th graders," said Grace.

LISD released a statement saying the book was reviewed by a campus committee but never put it through the formal district review process. The district will now adjust how the book will be used in the classrooms.

The reasoning behind the book, and many of KCBD's Facebook viewers agree with, is that the book has literary value. In fact, LISD states the book was recommended by the School of Library Journal, and was named the Texas Library Association's 2010 Tayshas.

LISD says if that at any time, a parent doesn't agree with their kid's reading material, they do have the option of getting an alternative assignment.

Statement from LISD:

This week, Lubbock ISD administration was contacted by a few parents concerned about a novel being read in some ninth-grade English classes. While the book, I'm Down, did not go through the formal district review process, it was reviewed by a campus committee. The book is considered a quality literary work and was named to the Texas Library Association's 2010 Tayshas recommended reading list, developed by public and school librarians for students in grades 9 – 12. The book was also favorably reviewed by the School Library Journal. We are adjusting how this book is being utilized while we put it through the formal district process that will determine its future use in LISD classrooms. Anytime a parent is concerned about instructional material being used in the classroom, the principal may offer another resource for use by the student.

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