Chris Crutcher’s Whale Talk was banned last month by the Limestone County (AL) Board of Education for containing profanity and racial epithets. Christi Brooks, the parent of a student at Ardmore High School, brought a challenge to the book because, although the book is about overcoming racism through teamwork, she felt it would actually encourage teenagers to use the offensive terms.
A committee that reviewed the book felt the book should not be banned, and Superintendent Barry Carroll supported that decision. However, the Board of Education still voted 4-3 to remove the book from schools. Board member James Shannon said his decision to support the ban had nothing to do with his niece being the person who brought forth the challenge. “If kids shouldn’t be saying it in the halls, they shouldn’t be reading it in our schools,” he said.