N.H. Parents Object To ‘Offensive’ Book

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV

BEDFORD, N.H. (CBS) — A New Hampshire family says its school system is making students read an offensive book. It’s called, “Nickel and Dimed,” and it was assigned to students in Bedford High School’s finance class in September.

16-year-old Jordan Henderson showed it to his parents because he was alarmed by obscene language and religious references. “Jesus is referred to as a wine-guzzling vagrant and precocious socialist,” says his stepfather, Dennis Taylor. “I believe in our culture of tolerance, this would not be acceptable if it were any other religion.”

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports.

They’re also concerned about a chapter in which the author describes how she beat a drug test, and about the overall economic message. “This woman is a Marxist who wrote the book, and when you read it, she’s against almost everything in America and what we stand for,” says the teenager’s mother, Aimee Taylor.

“I don’t think this book should be read by kids in school,” says Jordan. His parents agree. When they brought their concerns to Bedford High School, the administration formed a committee to review the book.

“The book is acceptable as instructional material because its instructional value outweighs its shortcomings,” says Assistant Superintendent Chip McGee.

While the school plans to continue assigning the book for now, McGee says parents will be informed, and will have an option to choose alternative reading.

The Taylors plan to ask the school board to remove “Nickel and Dimed” from the curriculum at a meeting next week.

More from Christina Hager
  • Pat

    Really… It’s a New York Times Bestseller and has been a High School Read for years. Get over yourselves.

  • John Joseph Grimes

    Like our brethren say up north, “Live Free or Die”. I’m surprised this would bother parents in a state that allows legal fireworks, no helmets for motorcyclists, liquor stores on every main highway and a place where the deer and the antelope play. Since most kids can’t read anyway, they don’t have to worry.

  • PB87

    I read that book. Yes, the woman is a Marxist for showing how people have to try nd manage to survive on low-wage jobs in this country. If she were a true American, she would have shown how all these jobs could be profitably outsourced to illegal immigrant workers, right Mr & Mrs Taylor?

  • cynic

    But “A Prince And A Prince” and ” Sally Has Two Mommies” Are OK?

  • Sue

    Laughed when I read JJG’s post as it was exactly what I was thinking! What is up with NH? Reality check?

  • Shondolyn Gibson

    For the love of milk and honey, this book is NOT offensive and if it’s Marxist than I’M a Marxist. It’s a book about how people are struggling to live off of minimum wage. Having been one of those people, I can relate. Just because these folks do not like this book it doesn’t mean that it should be taken off the curriculum altogether! It’s good to read books from different perspectives, after all.
    It’s not so much the cursing and drugs they should be offended over, but the fact that people are struggling so much in this country. Now THAT is unAmerican and not this book and you lose the argument when you state something is unAmerican if it represents a version of America you’d rather not face.

  • Alex

    This book is a wake up call-and like any wake up call will cause some controversy. That doesn’t mean it should be banned, but does mean that it is all the more important that it be read. I would think tea-party people would be on board!

  • Thomas Hood

    They’re just out for publicity. Cheap fake outrage.

  • Brettt Carrier

    Evidently Catcher in the Rye is not readin your school district, or you would be complaining about that to the News as well. Your son is 16, do you really think he is being exposed to material he doesn’t get everyday from facebook, google, his texts, etc..? We all know how to beat a drug test, evidently you seemed worried your child may attempt to beat one, sounds like you should be having a discussion with your child, not CBS news. If you let your child watch such shows as CSI, Law and Order, Burrn Notice, or any other prime time show, you have no right to criticize your school district for exposing your kids to different points of view, alternative to your own personal view. Are you perhaps more worried about your kid gaining a different opion about social issues than you yourself have?

  • Alex

    This is silly. Stop being so damned politically correct, and worrying about every little thing your child reads. It will ultimately do him more harm to shelter him so closely. Having said this, I can not stand Ehrenrich, she bores me nearly to tears with her dry style of writing

  • cynic

    Thanks for pointing this out. I have been meaning to read it forever. I just ordered it from Amazon for $.99 …..

  • cynic

    Have the Taylors considered GRIEF COUNSELORS for these students exposed to the real world?

  • Lillian

    Reality check, you’re gonna see worse things when you leave highschool and go out into the real world. You’re not being protected from anything, just postponing the inevitable. Whoopdee Doo, you can keep your child from reading a book that you find innapropriate! Not such a big deal, I think he should read it. No one else seems to find the book innaproriate to read. Out for attention? I think so. The book is educational, but ok, let your child miss out on reading what America is really like! Plus, if you worry about him beating a drug test you have bigger problems than him reading a well written book!

  • Jeff

    Lillian you’re very foolish. Using your logic we should expose our children to pornography to teach them about anatomy…and they’re going to see it in the real world anyway.

  • http://www.wadleighlibrary.org/wordpress/2011/10/banned-books-week-sept-24-oct-1/ Banned Books Week: Sept. 24-Oct. 1 » wordpress

    […] think it can happen here? Nickel and Dimed was challenged recently in Bedford, NH – see the news report – and The Hunger Games was challenged last year in Goffstown, […]

blog comments powered by Disqus
Taz Show
Download Weather App

Listen Live