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Tale of two male penguins ruffles no feathers among Fayetteville School Board members

by Al Gaspeny | January 27, 2023 at 5:00 a.m.
A copy of the book "And Tango Makes Three" is seen Nov. 16, 2006, on a bookstore shelf in Chicago. (File Photo/AP/Nam Y. Huh)

FAYETTEVILLE -- The School Board unanimously denied a request for an appeal of a decision to keep the book "And Tango Makes Three" in the library at Root Elementary School.

Thursday night's 7-0 vote came during the board's regular monthly meeting, held via Zoom in the wake of this week's snow.

"And Tango Makes Three," published in 2005, is a children's book about two male penguins that raise a chick together at New York City's Central Park Zoo.

The book ranked as the sixth-most banned and challenged book from 2010-2019 in a list compiled by the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Mary Claire Hyatt, the School District's general counsel, told the board a patron appealed a decision to keep the book in the Root library. The school principal convened a reconsideration committee, Hyatt said. The panel reviewed the book and recommended keeping it, which led the patron to then appeal to the School Board, Hyatt said.

There was no discussion as the board rejected the appeal request, with Tim Hudson making the motion and Katrina Osborne seconding.

In other business, the board unanimously approved extending the substitute teacher incentive pay program.

Greg Mones, the district's interim executive director of fiscal and human resources, said the program was for substitutes who worked five days a week. The plan started at the end of October, and Mones recommended reinstating it for the spring semester. The incentive was paid to 58 substitutes and cost the district a little over $13,000, Mones said.

"We do feel it was a great benefit for those substitutes willing to go out there and work every single day in our schools for us," Mones said.

There was no discussion as the board voted 7-0 to extend the program.

At the end of the meeting, board members praised the work of the facilities and maintenance and food and nutrition crews amid the winter weather.

Print Headline: Board declines to hear appeal of decision to keep book in library


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