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Hempstead School District’s Summer Reading List Riddled With Errors

List Includes 'The Great Gyspy,' Emily Bonte And George Ornell

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A summer reading assignment list has quickly become an embarrassment for a Long Island local school district, as it is riddled with mistakes.

As CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock and WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported Wednesday, the seven-page list provided by the Hempstead School District had more than 30 errors.

“I think it’s disgusting. People need to learn English,” said Nancy Schadt of Lynbrook. “No public institution should be sending out improper information.”

The public institution responsible for posting the summer reading list with its slew of errors is Hempstead Public Schools. There are more than 30 misspellings, misnomers and grammatical errors.

The list refers to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” as “The Great Gypsy,” 1010 WINS’ Holli Haerr reported.

“It’s sad,” one mother said. “I read ‘The Great Gatsby,’ that was in high school, and watched it on TV with Robert Redford, but this here, I didn’t read ‘The Great Gypsy,’ I couldn’t find that nowhere.”

Authors’ names were also misspelled, including Emily Bronte’s which was listed as “Emily Bonte” and George Orwell’s which was listed as “George Ornell.”

Also, “The Lovely Bones” is cut short to “The Lovely Bone.” And the list for juniors and seniors is for the eleventh and “twelve,” rather than “twelfth,” grades.

EXTRA: Click Here To See The List (pdf)

When CBS 2 identified “The Great Gypsy” for one Hempstead High School graduate, he couldn’t control himself. The 2010 alumnus, “Ishmail,” laughed out loud.

“I mean, come on — kids are really going to look for these books when they go to (the library); I think it’s going to be embarrassing,” he said.

Ishmail said the list promotes illiteracy in his neighborhood.

“For something like this reason is knowledge, you’ve got to take your time with something like that,” he said.

“Hempstead School District is full of crap,” said Maria Rodriguez, who wants a better school district for her son. “They don’t do what they’re supposed to.”

CBS 2 reached out to the Hempstead School superintendent for comment, but there was no response as of Wednesday afternoon.

A member of the New York State Board of Regents that oversees schools has commented previously, “Hempstead has not had a stable administration for a long time and the kids are suffering.”

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