A controversial book will no longer be available for checkout from the Cody High School library.

The Cody School Board voted 5-1 Tuesday night on a lengthy motion which included removing the book “A Bad Boy Can be Good for a Girl,” by Tanya Lee Stone from the library.

Trustee Tom Keegan was the lone no vote, while trustee Jenni Rosencranse was not present for the vote.

Keegan objected to it on the grounds it was a slippery slope to ban a book.

“Where do you stop?” he questioned.

Trustee Scott Weber, who read the book and referred to it as “trashy,” said the board should be prepared for parents to come forward soon with more library books they deem inappropriate for students.

“There’s more to come,” he said.

The motion also moved the school to immediately implement the Alexandria library software to notify parents of books being checked out of district libraries by their children. It will include an opt out for parents who do not wish to be notified.

The motion also solved the issue of having the KEC committee – which is meant to approve learning materials – deciding the fate of a library book. Their recommendation, on a 7-2 vote, was to retain the book.

Chair Kelly Simone and trustee William Struemke thanked the committee for its work despite the outcome. Struemke also saw the meetings firsthand.

Struemke also brought a copy of the book to the meeting and read some passages because, he said, those that objected to its removal in the meeting did so without having read it.

After reading language in a couple of the scenes depicting sex, trustee Stefanie Bell asked him why he was reading from it.

“People need to know what they’re voting on,” he said.

After a back and forth between the two Simone cut off the conversation and they proceeded to vote, both Struemke and Bell in favor of the motion to remove the book.

The motion Tuesday included language that any request for reconsideration of library materials will follow the district chain of command all the way to the superintendent following submission of the form Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of a Book or Other Materials.

Trustee Rebecca George made the motion, and said in June they would revisit the matter and look at a more permanent policy fix.

During public input at Tuesday’s meeting there were a couple of comments on the book issue.

Powell elementary librarian Jennifer Lucas said while the book may not be appropriate for many students, for some it may be “just what they need to get through a tough time.”

Amanda Minor, the parent of a ninth grader at CHS who brought the book to the board’s attention, initially spoke in favor of Policy CKA, which if passed would allow for qualified armed personnel in the Cody School District. She then connected it to the book and other books she deems inappropriate at the library.

“We want to support [books on] murder and rape in the school library and then become all crazy when it comes to guns to protect our kids,” she said.

(13) comments

Cornwoman

Parents should decide what their children may and may not read. The book in question received many positive reviews for the writing and its cautionary tale about the hazards of associating with "bad" boys.

wyomomma

Guess what! There's now a drive to promote this book among the students - a least one student bought several copies and is giving them away. So I guess banning the book worked really well!

dstanton

This article (or perhaps it was the board members themselves) wrongly refer to Alexandria software as a special kind of software meant for intruding into library records. Alexandria is just a basic integrated library system (ILS), the online equivalent of a card catalog. It has the option to access your account online and to add an email address to the account for users to get notifications of their own materials' due dates. Basically, the board is requesting that this normal piece of library software be used in an alternative way -- for parents to gain full access to their children's check-out records, when it is meant for people to access their own records (to renew books, add holds, etc.). Don't confuse the standard software for this non-standard use.

Aliyakitty

Two thoughts:
1. Banning the book will have every single student reading it. So kudos to you there.
2. Software to see what books are being checked out? Not a violation of privacy?

DeweyV

The very best way to spike the interest in a book and increase sales is to ban it... just saying.

Justine

You just made this book a "must read" amongst the students.

BT

I tell you what worries me. It's all the books "banned" by the school librarians over the years, who have clearly made choices not to buy and shelve all the 130 million books that Google says have been published in the English language. That's a lot of "book banning" right there, if our high school library only has a few thousand volumes. I'm appalled! The censorship! The abridgement of vital freeedoms! The horror!

I at least haven't got a notice on when the first bonfire is being lit, so I suspect we could all stop hyperventilating. Anyone that wants their kid to read that nasty little book (and for all the posturing I haven't heard a single parent say, Yes! That's the book for my 9th grader!) can get it through interlibrary loan or buy it from Amazon.

Nothing's been "banned." The board voted to reverse the decision of some librarian in 2009 who decided that book was a better choice for our high school library than any of the other 129,995,000 thousand or so that our kids still can't find at CHS. And at least the board did it in the full light of public scrutiny, and are accountable for their actions. Sharpen your pencils for November.

You'd think there weren't any more serious concerns facing us as a community, than deducing and applying community standards to the choices already being made, unaccountably, very day in a school library.

Teem

Ahhhh the puppet master speaks! I am sure you do not see a problem with one of yourr budddies on the board posting pictures of women doing handstands with their legs spread while a man rests a gun on her crotch. This from an elected official yet, it is not “ junk or trash “. Oh wait it is a private business so that makes it ...ok. The hipocracy is astounding. Good people of Cody, Sharpen your pencils indeed and lets drain our little swamp.

Byrds

What's worse than censorship is amateur censorship

mwinslow

I am proud of my friend, Tom Keegan.

DeweyV

In the spirit of equivocation , fairness and balance, and that good old time 'Eye For An Eye' scriptural belief, I offer a compromise policy to banning any and all books from libraries. If some high minded self-righteous god-fearing hometown crusader comes before the School Board or Park County Library Board and demands a specific book be withdrawn just because he/she doesn't like it orperhaps has overarching social conservative or religiously driven concerns, then someone like me should be allowed to pick a book I consider equally ignoble trash and have it removed at the same time. Fair enough ? These sorts of reactionary fiats should always be done in pairs. Here's my short list of books that should not be placed at arm's length from our sensitive impressionable youth: " Unplanned: the dramatic true story of a former Planned Parenthood leader's eye opening journey across the Life Line" by Abby Johnson "Ideas Have Consequences" by Richard Weaver "Conservative Mind " by Russell Kirk " Natural Right " by Leo Strauss "Slouching Towards Gomorrah " by Robert Bork " Righteous Indignation: Excuse me while I try to save the world" by Andrew Breitbart - and anything from the poison pen of Ann Coulter. We certainly do not want to hand our kids a box of Cherry bombs and a Bic lighter now, do we? Not really . But I'm actually not a book banner. Anything but. In fact I fully support stocking the shelves to overflowing with as many books on any topic by any author as we can muster or afford, with piles more in the basement. I just want the good people to know that you should not take something from the public without offering something , or be willing to sacrifice something. Also that some of our esteemed school board need to grow a spine ( you are excused from this admonition Tom Keegan).

(Edited by staff.)

rbjones

Excellent. I'll bet the next book to ban Is Fahrenheit 451 if it's even in the school library. Please, please do not let children read and think their own thoughts, it may lead to independent thinking.

George Clooney

Are you kidding? We're still banning books in schools? Is this the 50's? Do you think your kids are going to remain abstinent until marriage? You can't shelter your kids in Cody forever, they know more than you think already.

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