School board changes policy after complaint over 'vulgar' <i>SideScrollers</i>

A Connecticut school district will more closely scrutinize summer reading lists following a mother's complaint about the profanity and sexual references in Matthew Loux's 2006 graphic novel SideScrollers.

Published by Oni Press, the book centers on three video game-playing friends slackers who suddenly become motivated when one of their secret crushes announces she's going to a rock concert with a bullying jock. The well-reviewed comic was named one of the Young Adult Library Association's 2008 Great Graphic Novels for Teens, which is probably how it ended up on the reading list.

But no more. According to WFSB TV, the Enfield Board of Education has removed SideScrollers and will take reading-list selections out of the hands of individual schools. Now a board committee will choose the books for district.

Christie Bosco told the board on Tuesday that she was "floored" after she read the graphic novel recommended to her freshman son. "I was absolutely amazed that anybody would recommend this and put a school's seal of approval on it. Parents are busy and they expect that if it's a book that a school system endorses, it's going to be appropriate for their children. And that's where Enfield failed."

The board clearly agreed, with one member telling Bosco, “This kind of reading material doesn’t belong in the schools.”

"I think that the book is a bit vulgar," Superintendent Jeffrey Schumann offered. "The topics they tried to cover were covered well, but perhaps there would be other texts that could cover them in a better way."

Loux, who's better known for his Salt Water Taffy series, may beg to differ. "I have officially made it," he wrote last night on Facebook. "Stay strong, teens of Enfield!"

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