Parents Protest 'The Handmaid's Tale' Because It 'Denigrates Christianity'

8:45 PM, Oct 25, 2012   |    comments
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Guilford County, NC -- Parents of students in the Guilford County school system are protesting a book they say is sexually explicit, violently graphic and morally corrupt.

Lisa Reid, the organizer of the protest, came across "The Handmaid's Tale" while researching a note about "mature content" on some of her son's summer reading list.

"When I pulled up the summer reading assignment for my son and saw this label, it gave me pause," she said.

Reid says she wants the book banned by Guilford County Schools.

"I was not happy with what I found because I did not find anything inspirational, anything to help our young people," she explained.

"The Handmaid's Tale" is required reading for a Page High school International Baccalaureate class. It's also optional reading for AP reading courses at Grimsley High school.

"My issue is not only with specific books, my issue is that Guilford County sets standards," Reid said.

In just the last month a couple thousand parents have signed her petition against the book.

Catherine Barnette, one of those parents, tells News 2 she signed on to the petition because she was floored by the explicit details in the book.

"It's is extremely graphic and sexually explicit. There is a sex scene that involves three people."

Marcia Curtis and daughter Tracey Keaton say they are bothered passages that seem to denigrate Christians and Christianity.

"Why would you put books like that in front of children? Why do it?" she exclaimed.

The school district says none of estimated 2,200 parents who are protesting have formally brought their concerns to their attention. Jocelyn Becoats, the Chief Curriculum Officer says if they had, their children could opt out of the reading.

"Obviously there's a major concern about this book," she said. "But what I would suggest that parents go through and follow the policy and procedure that's outlined in our district's policy.":

Reid says explains that the process set up to challenge a book doesn't work, and she prefers to have a larger discussion about the book selection process.

The parents say they won't stop until they see change.

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