Alamogordo Public Schools remove Neverwhere from curriculum, shelves, return it after review


October 2013:

After learning that her daughter was reading Neverwhere, which contains a brief passage where the central character attempts to intterupt two adulterous lovers on a park bench and discovers that he is invisible, the mother of an Alamogordo High School student went to school administrators to ask that the book be removed from the curriculum.  On hearing of the complaint, Superintendent Dr. George Straface ordered that the book be removed from the curriculum and from the shelves while it undergoes review for age-appropriateness.

The school has a policy to send home a letter informing parents of potentially controversial materials covered in class, and offering an alternate assignment for students whose parents object.  The student's mother claims not to have received any such letter until a week into the book's use in class; and the teacher claims that the parent never approached her to ask about an alternate selection but went straight to school administrators instead. 

While the student in question has since been assigned an alternate selection, her mother continued to press to have the book removed from the curriculum permanently.

The school district found the book suitable for the classroom and it was returned to the library and the curriculum.

"Mom gets mature book banned," KRQE, October 10, 2013.
"Book News: Gaiman's 'Neverwhere' Banned At New Mexico School," NPR, October 11, 2013.
"Parental complaint spurs suspension of book's use at Alamogordo High School: Parents complain of inappropriate content in 'Neverwhere,' but the book has not been banned," Alamogordo News, October 11, 2013.
"Alamogordo district suspends use of fantasy novel," Associated Press | Miami Herald, October 12, 2013.
"Neil Gaiman's 'Neverwhere' is restored to New Mexico high school," The Christian Science Monitor, November 14, 2013.

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