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7th graders assigned to read explicit book

Posted at 11:31 PM, Nov 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-16 07:39:09-05

Parents are fuming after they found out their children were assigned to read a sexually explicit book at school. 

Shateraka Hampton said her 12-year-old son was reading a book he was assigned at school when he came to his father with a question. 

"The word that he didn't understand was, 'masturbate'," Hampton said. "I was like, 'What are these kids reading?'" 

The book is called "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian" by Sherman Alexie. The book's been banned in other schools across the country for its explicit language and mature content. The book includes talk of masturbation and other sexual content, the "F"-word, and the "N"-word.

Hampton brought her concerns to the administration at Democracy Prep at Agassi Campus, a charter school on Lake Mead and MLK Boulevards. She said school staff explained the book is part of the curriculum to teach kids about racism. 

"If you're just going to discuss the racism and that aspect, then why not pick another book?" Hampton said. 

Democracy Prep Public Schools sent the following statement to 13 Action News:

"This young adult novel, which received the National Book Award for Young People's Literature and was named one of the best books of 2007 by the School Library Journal, has been a successful and important part of our curriculum, as well as the curriculum of other successful school districts for several years. The novel's thought-provoking themes include bullying, race, violence, and other issues relevant to young people today. If there are parent concerns, our principal is available to meet, to discuss, and if, appropriate, offer alternative texts."

Hampton said the school principal offered to send her a list of the books her son will be reading for the rest of the school year. She hopes the school will seek parental permission in the future for books of this nature.