High school summer reading list is labeled as anti-police

A summer reading list for an English class at Wando High School in Charleston, S. C., is anti-police, critics say.

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A South Carolina high school drew the wrath of parents, police and members of the community after it consisted of the so-called anti-police material in a summer reading list.

From a list of four books for students of English 1 College Prep course at Wando High School in Charleston, two focused on racism and the police brutality.

“It’s almost like an indoctrination of distrust of the police and we have put an end to that,” John Blackmon, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Tri-County Lodge #3, told the local news. “There are other socio-economic topics that are available and they want to focus half of their efforts on negativity in the direction of the police? That seems strange to me.”


Students can choose “All American Boys” by Jason Reynolds, and Brendan Kiely, who is described as “the story of two teenagers, one black and one white, which have to do with racial tensions in their school and their community”, in the class command, or “Hate You” by Angie Thomas, described as the main character witnessed her childhood friend, Khalil, shot – unarmed – by a policeman.

While the students have two other options on the reading list, the Fraternal Order of Police says that the two anti-police-books must be removed from the list, because they focus on negativity in the direction of the officers.

The school is reviewing the book materials, after the formal request for reconsideration has been filed.

“I understand that two of the selections/choices for this summer reading list for English 1 College Prep classes are considered as controversial by a number of members of our community,” Wando Principal Sherry Eppelsheimer wrote in a statement. “I appreciate their concerns and input with regard to this case.”

The school board can pull the books to the books from the summer reading list, as the decision to take up the issue.

Caleb Parke is an associate editor for You can follow him on Twitter @calebparke

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