(Reuters) – A school board in southwest Missouri on Monday restored two books it had banned from public schools for being contrary to teachings in the Bible.
The Republic School Board voted 6-0 to make the two books – “Slaughterhouse-Five” and “Twenty Boy Summer” – available to students for independent reading as long as they are kept in a secure section of the school library.
Only parents or guardians can check them out.
Under a policy the board adopted in July, teachers still cannot make the books required reading nor read them aloud in school. The old policy had removed the books from the school altogether.
The novel Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut is a satirical account of the bombing of Dresden, Germany, during World War II. Some people object to violence, language and sexual material in the book.
“Twenty Boy Summer,” by Sarah Ockler, is about young people and sexual relationships.
Area resident Wesley Scroggins, a Missouri State University associate business professor, objected to those books and other materials he said “create false conceptions of American history and government and or that teach principles contrary to Biblical morality and truth.”
Several anti-censorship organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, sharply criticized the book ban, which received national attention.
In August, The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library in Indianapolis offered up to 150 copies of “Slaughterhouse-Five” to any Republic students who wanted to read it.