Residents: Books on Stevenson High's reading list offensive

Updated 12/16/2010 10:55 PM

Concerned about books his kids are reading at Stevenson High School, a parent on Thursday night implored the school board to protect what he called the "traditional values" of the community.

Vernon Hills resident John Dreyer, who said he has two sons attending the Lincolnshire school, specifically attacked "The Flamingo Rising," a novel that's on a summer reading list.


A sexual encounter depicted in the novel was definitely something you could consider "X-rated," he said. He called the book offensive.

Dreyer also objected to "The Casual Carpool," a short story that his youngest son recently was assigned in class. He was critical of a lesbian character's desire to find a sperm donor so she could have a baby.

"The values that I've held dear my whole life are being redefined," Dreyer said. "I don't believe for a minute that the majority of the parents in this community think this is OK."

Several other adults in the audience at Thursday's board meeting some parents of Stevenson students, some not sided with Dreyer.

"Would you take those three pages (with the sex scene from) 'The Flamingo Rising' and read them to your mother?" Vernon Hills resident Doug Loretto said. "Would she be proud of you?"

Another parent, Steve Long, said parents should be more involved when it comes to setting reading lists.

Long also requested more parental notification about reading materials and suggested teachers provide short synopses of books.

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Only one audience member, Bruce Slivnick, defended the literature being questioned.

"My children all read 'Flamingo Rising' and they found it a very thought-provoking piece of literature," Slivnick said. "The opening of ideas … is the way to have our children learn."

School board President Bruce Lubin thanked the speakers and said the board members will speak with teachers and parents about the issue.