An Alabama legislator who does not support efforts to repeal the sweeping U.S. education initiative known as the Common Core Standards says he believes the reading list issued in conjunction with the standards needs to be revised.
State Senator Bill Holtzclaw (R-Madison) told Alabama Media Group this week that he believes The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, should be banned from high school libraries, despite the fact that this book is on the Common Core Standard’s recommended reading list for 11th-graders. His call for the ban comes after he caught flak from the GOP for opposing plans to repeal the national education standards.
Common Core Standards have been adopted in more than 40 states as part of an effort to homogenize education across the county. Alabama adopted the standards in November 2010 and will implement them this school year.
"The book is just completely objectionable, from language to the content," Holtzclaw told Alabama Media Group.
Published in 1970, Morrison's novel contains passages describing rape, incest and pedophilia. It has been banned from a number of schools over the years, and anti-Common Core groups around the country are now coming out against the book, arguing that it contains topics too explicit for high school students.
An appeal on Petition2Congress asks concerned citizens to write lawmakers to keep the book off the Common Core reading list. Conservative blog PolitiChicks describes the book as “Common Core approved child pornography.”
Holtzclaw previously said he opposed repealing the Common Core Standards because such a decision should be in the hands of the state school board, instead of legislators. Nevertheless, he told Alabama Media Outlet he believes a book like The Bluest Eye has no place in schools.