72.8 F
West Bend

Letter to the Editor | West Bend School Board considers allowing sexual content in English books | By Carol Heger

June 11, 2024 – West Bend, WI – Before spring break last year, community members began to learn of a book being used in Badger Middle School called The 57 Bus.  Many parents and residents began to speak at West Bend School District (WBSD) board meetings and write letters to the local media.  Eventually Jody Geenen and I wrote reconsideration challenges, asking that The 57 Bus and The Kite Runner be removed from the book club lists at Badger as well as the high schools.  (The high schools included both The 57 Bus and The Kite Runner on junior English book club lists.)


As a result of these book club challenges, you would think Kristellnacht had occurred in West Bend.  The vitriol was shocking.  Jody and I were accused of banning books. Many locals agreed with us, however, and did not believe that the sexual, violent, and profane content of these books warranted their inclusion in our community’s schools.  We were not alone.  In fact, The Kite Runner has been rated as the 11th most challenged book in school and public libraries across the country.  Furthermore, Menomonee Falls School District’s school board recently removed 33 books from its school libraries, including The Kite Runner.  As an aside, some of these 33 books on the Menomonee Falls’ list can also be found residing in our West Bend High Schools’ library.
Perhaps as a result of attention being focused on the district’s books, standards were developed by the district’s Curriculum Committee last summer.  These standards stated how much profanity, sexuality, and violent content could be included in titles chosen for the book club lists.  Every few weeks last fall, new book club lists were released by the district, however local citizens were only given about three days to review a dozen or more titles and respond to the Curriculum Committee with comments.  This was a Herculean task, and rarely did the Curriculum Committee (composed of three board members and an administrator among other district staff) follow citizens’ comments and remove any books from these proposed lists.
In fact, many of the book club titles had a large variety of profane and obscene words (including shi*, go**amn, s**k, f**k, dork, screw, c*nt, pri**, c*m, MILF, and more), yet these books continued to be included on the lists.  Quite a few books had violent scenes, even murders and suicides, yet once again these books were approved by the Curriculum Committee.  Some like The Kite Runner had violent sexual scenes, including a man-on-boy rape; the book also depicts pedophiles preying on boys and girls.  I don’t believe this book is appropriate at any age level, but The Kite Runner continues to be read by juniors at West Bend high schools.  (Let’s remember many juniors aren’t licensed to drive or allowed into R-rated movies.)
Currently the district’s standards allow no sexual content in club books at any grade level, even though the Curriculum Committee has allowed sexual themes because they were deemed “descriptive” and not “graphic.”  Now the liberal-majority school board is looking at sexual content in book club books, hoping to create “thresholds,” i.e., defining what type of content is allowable at different grade levels.  I suspect that will result in board members defining what sexual activities performed by characters are deemed acceptable!  I predict the sexuality standards will be loosened, and students in middle and high school English classes will continue to learn all the latest progressive terms, methods, and so-called science.  As others have noted, that kind of content and related discussions should be held in Human Growth and Development classes (what used to be known as Sex Education).
In addition to the struggle over English books, the lack of transparency from WBSD has been noticeable, as pertinent news stories are not publicly acknowledged or followed up by the administration, such as numerous student-on-student attacks at Badger MS and the high schools and student protests supporting Black Lives Matter.  Stories in the media highlighted McLane Elementary’s former custodian who last year was charged with child sex abuse, trafficking, and pornography, as well as the recent profanities screamed by the West Bend East baseball coach.
Does anyone besides myself see a relationship between curriculum officially condoned and offered by public school districts, full of vulgarity and perverted sex scenes, and the proliferation of sex crimes and public profanity?  Publicly funded school districts like WBSD should hold the highest standards when being entrusted with and instructing children.
“Educational value” will be the defense as the left-leaning school board creates guidelines, and as a result WBSD students will continue to be indoctrinated and sexualized at younger and younger ages.
I encourage the public to get engaged by watching the board meeting videos on the district’s website, writing letters to the media and WBSD, or attending future school board meetings.  The next one is at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 17 at the WBSD Education Service Center on Main Street, West Bend.
Carol Heger
West Bend, WI

While open and honest debate is encouraged here, Washington County Insider asks that you comply with the following rules for posting. Those who do not comply will have their posts removed which may result in being banned from commenting.

Washington County Insider will not publish comments that:

  • Are considered likely to provoke, attack, or offend others. This is known as “trolling.” Trollers know when they are trolling, and so do we. *See definition of “troll” below. If you notice a few consistent blog trolls disappear, you’ll know why.
  • Are sexually explicit, abusive, or otherwise objectionable.
  • Contains inappropriate or vulgar language that is likely to offend.
  • Break the law or condone or encourage unlawful activity. This includes breach of copyright, defamation, and contempt of court.
  • Advertise products or services for profit.
  • Are seen to impersonate someone else.
  • Repeatedly post the same or similar messages (‘spam’)
  • Include personal contact details such as telephone numbers and postal or email addresses.
  • Include a link or photo that has not been approved by the editor prior to posting.
  • Are considered campaigning. See also “trolling” above.
  • Are unrelated to the topic.


  • Just because your comment doesn’t show up right away doesn’t mean you’re being censored. When you post a comment it must first go through our filtering software. If it fails, your comment goes into a queue for manual approval.
  • Just because a comment or advertisement is on the site, doesn’t mean WCI endorses it.
  • The above rules are not intended to stop criticism or dissenters, but rather to stop those who are incapable of participating in a civilized manner.


*Trolling: troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion,[3] often for the troll’s amusement. (source: Wikipedia)

All letters must include a US Postal address and direct cell/phone number for record keeping.

Leave a Reply

Work or the content on WashingtonCountyInsider.com cannot be downloaded, printed, or copied. The work or content on WashingtonCountyInsider.com prohibits the end user to download, print, or otherwise distribute copies.


FREE local news at Washington County Insider on YouTube

Related Articles