A middle school teacher in South Carolina was placed on administrative leave and could lose his job because he read aloud to his class from Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.
According to the Aiken Standard, the teacher read aloud from three books including Ender’s Game as part of a literacy initiative program. A parent objected to the book, calling it “pornographic.”
While Ender’s Game is listed on numerous web sites as recommended and suitable for readers ages 12 and above, the teacher in question failed to follow his school’s guidelines for the book. The books read had to first be reviewed before being read to students.
Joy Shealy, school district academic officer for middle schools, said there is a policy that defines steps teachers ought to take when presenting supplemental material.
“One of the things that teachers are supposed to do is preview material for appropriateness for any questions that may come up,” Shealy said. “By doing that, we make sure the materials that are presented to students are age and instructionally appropriate – all the things that make a good instructional program.”
A student and his or her parents objected to the book, calling it pornographic.
The administration gathered a written statement from the student, which is normal procedure, and initiated an immediate investigation, according to the administration.
After reviewing the student’s statement, school officials indicated that the investigation would continue, school administrators stated this week.
Administrators were reportedly concerned with the report that the books had curse words and terms in them that might not be age appropriate.
The same parent referred the complaint to the Aiken police department. The school’s principle said the complaint would be “handled in-house.”
Police have not filed any criminal charges against the teacher at this time. The investigation is still ongoing, said Aiken Public Safety Lt. David Turno.
After the teenager’s mother contacted police, investigators contacted the school.
School officials have since said two of the three books the teacher read were determined to have materials (primarily swear words) and, in some instances, subject matter and terminology that school administrators consider inappropriate for the middle school.