Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ian Watson Responds to Doing It Right

President of the Mount Vernon City School Board, Ian Watson, acknowledged Monday that the book Doing It Right had been in the school’s library, but said that it was removed at the start of last school year. During public participation at the board’s previous regular meeting, Jeff Cline read a portion of the book aloud.

The book Doing It Right is intended as a sex education book for the ninth grade level. (See Amazon.com for description of the book.)

Watson stated—at the July 6, 2009 board meeting—that individuals need to first use the system in place for making complaints about objectionable books before taking those complaints to the school board. “[The system] won’t work if nobody uses it,” Watson said. (See copy of the procedure for making complaints.)

Cline said he would try to set up a meeting with the principal of the high school to discuss the books that he finds objectionable. He said that a woman from his church has tried going through the school’s procedure for making complaints but that each time it did not work.

The book that Cline spoke to the board about at this month’s meeting is Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty. This time, Cline said he checked just before the start of the meeting to make sure it was still in the school library. He gave the board a list of words that he said were in the book.

Cline has spoken about the content of books in the school system on several prior occasions (YouTube videos):

(Jeff Cline reads Doing It Right-- June 15, 2009)

(Jeff Cline Speaks About Books in School-- April 06, 2009)

(Community disagreement with the school board's decision. 9/8/08 Part 2 of 2)

(John Freshwater August 4th 2008 (part 6)) (Cline is at 2:30 in video.)

UPDATE 7-9-09:

Pam Schehl reported—in an article for the Mount Vernon News, “Volleyball team feted by MV school board,” on July 7, 2009—that Ian Watson stated the book Doing It Right is not in the school library. (The article makes clear which book is being referred to, for those that have been at the school board meetings, but does not include the name of the book in the article. The title of the book Jeff Cline spoke about on July 6, 2009 is included.)

The article by Schehl does not include the fact that Watson did acknowledge that the book had been in the library.

UPDATE 7-16-09:

For a response from Megan McCafferty, author of Second Helpings, see the article: “Author of Second Helpings Responds to Book Controversy.”


Anonymous said...

I see Mr Freshwater amended his complaint:

Sam Stickle (mountvernon1805) said...

Thanks for sharing the info!

Anonymous said...


Judge denies petition on board's testimony

By Pamela Schehl
July 8, 2009
MOUNT VERNON — In an attempt to force several Mount Vernon school board members to testify at the contract termination hearing for John Freshwater, Freshwater attorney Kelly Hamilton filed a petition with the Knox County Court of Common Pleas on June 2. The petition asked the judge to render a decision to compel their testimony.
On Tuesday, Judge Ortho Eyster denied that petition, stating the Ohio Revised Code limits the court’s jurisdiction in such matters and he therefore could not compel them to appear.
The effect the judge’s decision will have on the hearing is undetermined at this time. Requests for further information were unanswered as of press time.

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