Dubuque committee votes 10-0 to keep "Perks" book in schools - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque committee votes 10-0 to keep "Perks" book in schools

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A special committee voted 10-0 after three hours of testimony to take no removal action for the book "Perks of Being a Wallflower."

Jodi Lockwood first brought the complaint to the school district, which prompted them to put together a special committee to determine the book's fate.

More than 100 people showed up Thursday night for that meeting, which allowed the public to make comments about the book.

The overwhelming majority of those who spoke over the course of three hours defended the book.  Teachers, former teachers, former and current students all among those who talked.

Many of the more than 40 speakers talked about their personal connection to the book, while those who spoke against it talked about their concern in exposing students to material that they consider graphic in the book.

Lockwood stood up after the nearly three hours and attempted to withdraw her request, saying she could see "the writing on the wall."

She told KWWL late last month that she just wanted to have a conversation about the book.

Kayley Weiland, a senior at Hempstead, and chair of this committee, said she read the book again with an open mind and came into this meeting with an open mind.

After Lockwood spoke, Weiland shared her thoughts on the book, before motioning to take no removal action.

"I think what stuck out most to me was just the fact of how much this book can really impact people. There were so many people who said they read this book, and realized they have issues and they're not alone, and I think that's a really big part," she said.

Lockwood asked if teachers could provide more information for parents when books contain what could be controversial material.

That, however, is a matter of policy, and something that would have to be taken up by the school board.

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