DIXFIELD — A parent is objecting to language, drug, alcohol and sex references in a book at the Buckfield Junior-Senior High School library, Regional School Unit 10 Superintendent Tom Ward told directors Monday night.

“Stuck in the Middle: 17 Comics from an Unpleasant Age,” by Ariel Schrag was published in 2007 and has been in the library for a couple of years, Ward said.

A parent of a junior high school student challenged having the book in the library, he said, and will present their case to the school board in public session Dec. 12. The hearing will be at the district central office, or if a large crowd is expected, at Dirigo High School, both in Dixfield.

Meanwhile, school board members were directed to read the pages in question, as well as the school district’s policy on challenging books.

The pages in question will remain confidential until the hearing, Ward said.

He said a committee that includes the school principal, the librarian, a classroom teacher and a community member have met to make a recommendation on whether the book should remain in the school’s library.

The board will decide whether to retain or remove the book at a January meeting.

In other matters, the board asked Dirigo Middle School Principal Celena Ranger to present required costs and other data for a day trip to Boston or around Maine for eighth-graders.

In past years, eighth-graders at the school have traveled to the Province of Quebec for two nights and three days each spring. But because of the continued faltering economy, she believes the more than $25,000 needed for the trip cannot be raised. The annual event began when her school had a federal GEAR-UP grant which paid all or most of the expenses. That grant is no longer available.

The board generally agreed that a one-day trip was much more affordable, and they directed Ranger to present estimated costs for the day trip at a later meeting.

Also on Monday, retired district employee Cleon “Kip” Fletcher was appointed as Pee Wee volunteer coordinator for Dirigo Middle School. That paid position was eliminated in the past year.

There are 12 towns in RSU: Rumford, Mexico, Byron, Roxbury, Dixfield, Canton, Carthage, Peru, Hartford, Sumner, Buckfield and Hanover.


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