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Crusade On To Ban Controversial ‘Wallflower’ At Rockland School

Coming-Of-Age Novel Upsets Parents At Clarkstown North
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The cover of the coming-of-age novel "Perks of being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky. (Photo courtesy/Coverspy)

The cover of the coming-of-age novel “Perks of being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky. (Photo courtesy/Coverspy)

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CONGERS, N.Y. (CBS 2) — There’s a movement to ban a book in Clarkstown.

A controversial teen coming-of-age novel is upsetting some Rockland County parents who want it out of the Clarkstown North High School, reports CBS 2’s Magee Hickey.

“One day CB got so drunk that he tried to ‘f’ the host’s dog,” Aldo DeVivo said.

Aldo DeVivo read Hickey excerpts from the book – “The Perks of a Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky — that he found particularly disgusting.

“‘What the f— Jesus,’” DeVivo said.

DeVivo’s daughter, a junior, was assigned this coming of age novel, which deals graphically with teenage sex, homosexuality and bestiality, in her English class. His wife, Patti, wrote down 40 pages of the slender book she found offensive.

“Why does the classroom really have to put a book with this kind of material in their hands?” Patti DeVivo wondered.

“As a Christian, do we really need to take the Lord’s name in vain like that?” Aldo DeVivo added.

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Other parents said they are also concerned.

“The words in there are so disgusting. The ‘f’ word. Private organ parts. Sounds pornographic — not for an English class. His daughter, my daughter is 16. It’s disgusting,” Lorenzo Fortunato.

At Clarkstown North, the district superintendent would not let Hickey ask any questions but instead issued only a written statement, saying the goal of the curriculum is to have students “become informed and well-rounded members of a global society. Curriculum thus includes, on occasion, literature selections and discussions which may appear controversial.”

One Clarkstown North senior said the book is new this year.

“They’re in high school. They know about it. They should be reading about stuff that happens in real life,” Chris Namme said.

So while the DeVivo’s daughter was allowed to substitute Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea” instead, her parents are hoping others will join them in a possible lawsuit to ban “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” permanently from the Clarkstown North curriculum.

The book in question is No. 3 on a list of the top 10 books in America that people try to ban, according to the American Library Association.

Read the novel? Think the parents have a legitimate gripe? Sound off below!

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