Colton Joint Unified Board of Education bans “The Bluest Eye” for sexual violence

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Courtesy photo: The Colton Joint Unified School District removes “The Bluest Eye” from its high school curriculum.
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Colton Joint Unified Board of Education voted to ban The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison on February 6.

“Our Board of Education voted to remove The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison from our core and extended reading list for English Language Arts classes. However, the book still remains available to students in the libraries at our high schools as well as through the digital library that we offer to students and staff,” said Colton Joint Unified Communications Director Katie Orloff.

The vote to remove the book from the high school level was supported by Board President Patt Haro, Board Members Frank A. Ibarra, Berenice Sandoval, and Joanne E. Thoring-Ojeda; while Vice President Dan Flores and Clerk Bertha Arreguin voted against the opposition; Board Member Israel Fuentes abstained.

“There is some graphic sexual violence depicted in the book, which is concerning for some students and families.  Our board was concerned about making it a required reading for students but at the same time, the book is still available to students,” continued Orloff.

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With the removal of The Bluest Eye many members of the community question if this will become a pattern in the school district.

“At this time, no other books on the extended and core reading list are being considered to be removed,” Orloff said.

For many years, the book has played an important role implemented into the high school English language curriculum regarding collective culture.

“The story provides opportunities for students to learn about and discuss an important perspective and experience that is part of our collective culture. The extended and core reading list continues to include a variety of diverse perspectives, including two other titles by the same author,” said Orloff.

The Colton Joint Unified School District shares that in regard to the future removal of texts, there are no other steps planned at this time.

For more information, visit https://www.colton.k12.ca.us/.

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