October BOE meeting: board slammed with vulgar book discussion

By Alex Hartleb

The Oct. 17 District 158 Board of Education meeting began on a positive note as students from first to second grade from Chesak were given the opportunity to lead the group in the pledge, sit in the board member’s seats, and be asked questions such as what they are going to be for Halloween. Then Vice President Anthony Quagliano called for public comments to commence, and local Huntley resident and father Jeff Barker walked up to the podium.

Barker’s 13-year-old son came home from Heineman one day with the book “All American Boys” after having received it from his teacher. The book itself contains multiple uses of vulgar language which sparked the discussion at the meeting. 

“In the first two chapters of this book, there were over 40 vulgarities. There were also references to underage drinking, drinking bourbon, stealing booze, and stealing your parents car and getting ripped(drunk) while going to high school basketball games,” Barker said. 

According to Barker, the school and the district accepted the book even though they knew the language and actions that were present in the book, saying that it is allowed because it is normal in society, which disturbed Barker and his family. There were limited actions taken place to solve this issue when Barker first brought it up with the school, which he thought to be wrong and that a change is in order.

Barker also said that books of that nature shouldn’t be materialized in our schools since it would not be acceptable for his son to write a book report using those words, search them on his Chromebook, or say them in the halls. 

“This is inappropriate. There should at least have to be a parental permission slip for this type of content to be checked out by an underage child. We are still talking about a child,” Barker said.