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It's recognized as one of the best books for young adults, but it's sparking controversy in Newburgh as required reading for ninth graders. YNN's Jessica Chen reports.
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- It's because of "Black Swan Green" by David Mitchell that dozens of teachers in Newburgh packed the Newburgh Board of Education.
However, there was a sigh of relief after Board President Dawn Fucheck said, "After being reviewed by central office administration, the books will not be issued," said Fucheck.
Art Plichta, President of the Newburgh Teacher's Association, said "Black Swan Green" was implemented by the district as part of the ninth graders fall reading requirement. He said the book has provocative content that's too explicit for ninth graders.
"I'm disappointed with the district for just buying into this without doing the research," said Plichta.
Officials with the New York State Department of Education said the book is chosen by a panel of experts as part of their Common Core Curriculum. However, it is up to the district to decide whether or not to offer the book. Other school districts in New York have used this book in their studies.
"It's local option, local sensibilities can prevail. If districts decide it's too provocative for its students, they can not use the book," said Dennis Tompkins, Chief of External Affairs with the New York State Education Department.
But Fucheck said they were only going by the state's recommendation.
"The district relied on the state's representations and their vetting process and purchased this book," she said.
The school board president said the books were not distributed to students. She said the district now plans to send their orders of the book back.