School officials stressed that the move was not a judgment call on the merit of the books, but a decision on whether the books were appropriate for high school students.
“We very clearly stayed out of discussion about moral issues,” Republic School Superintendent Vern Minor told the Republic newspaper. “Our discussions from the get-go were age-appropriateness.”
Mr. Minor said “Twenty Boy Summer” sensationalized sexual promiscuity and included questionable language, drunkenness, lying to parents, and a lack of remorse, while “Slaughterhouse Five” contained crude language and adult themes that are more appropriate for college-age students, according to the Republic newspaper.
“We just felt that of the three books, the two we have pulled aren't age-appropriate and send the wrong message,” board member Ken Knierim told the UPI.
As it turns out, the Republic High School isn’t alone in banning the books. “Slaughterhouse Five” is a fixture on the most-banned books list of the American Library Association. One of the first to ban it, says Mike Hendricks of the Kansas City Star, was a North Dakota school district that, in 1973, gathered up its 32 copies and burned them in a coal furnace.