Parent on erotic book at Nampa High School: 'I'm shocked'

NAMPA, Idaho (KBOI) - After concern from parents, a popular novel has been taken off the reading list at Nampa High School.

The book, "Like Water for Chocolate," became a major motion picture 20 years ago. But now it's considered too racy for sophomores who already started reading it.

The book has been considered a contemporary classic in Latin American literature. In the past, parents say teachers would read edited excerpts.

Parents say when free reading was permitted is when the complaints started pouring it.

"We were saying how crazy it was," said Megan Chandler, a Nampa High sophomore. "Our other English classes had already pulled it today, but we (our class) still read it. I don't know if my class is going to pull it."

Chandler said she skipped several of the racier parts of the book because it made her feel uncomfortable.

"I still think we shouldn't have been able to do it," Chandler said. "There are just some things that are in there that are inappropriate for sophomores in high school."

Like Water for Chocolate is described as earthy and romantic. When KBOI-TV asked why it was pulled, the school district replied with just two words.

"Sexual Situations."

"I actually read a few passages from the book today in an email that was sent to me and I was shocked and appalled that it was something in the school," said Jan Lakey, a local parent.

One of those "sexual situations" described comes from Page 55.

"Naked as she was, with her loosened hair falling to her waist, luminous, glowing with energy, she might have been an angel and devil in one woman," the book reads.

"The delicacy of her face, the perfection of her pure virginal body contrasted with the passion, the lust, that leapt from her eyes, from her every pore."

And on Page 66.

"Under her blouse, her breasts moved freely, since she never wore a brassiere. Drops of sweat formed on her neck and ran down into the crease between her firm round breasts."

News of the book's removal spread quickly to several Nampa parents.

"It does bother me, I mean this is a public school - there's no place for that sort of thing in a public school," said Bob Solberg, another parent.

But not everyone agrees.

"Sex is everywhere and I think it...they're going to get it one way or another," said Andrew Hollingsworth, a Nampa resident.

The book isn't a stranger to controversy. In the past, the book has been pulled from school districts in Wisconsin and Arizona.
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