Board agrees: Book stays, swear word goes

By David Knopf/News Editor

By consensus, Richmond School Board agreed Tuesday that high school English teacher Katie Rold should mark out an offensive word in “A Long Way Gone,” a memoir written by a child soldier in Sierra Leone.

The book, by author Ishmael Beah, is an account of his experiences as a conscripted government soldier during that country’s civil war.

“At the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence,” the book’s Web site notes. “By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.”

Beah eventually was released, sent to a UNICEF rehabilitation center and now lives in the United States.

Rold, who’s taught the book before minus the single use of the “f” word, consulted Principal John Parker about the appropriateness of using the book as it was written or with the offensive word covered.

Stephanie Landwehr, a member of the board, was given a copy of the book to read before the meeting.

“The writing’s very good, and I couldn’t put the book down,” she said.

The complete story is in the Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015 Richmond News.

Click here for our E-edition and read the rest of the story.

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