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Character education: Complaint about “The Kite Runner” raises First Amendment issues

This spring, a 10th-grade honors English class was supposed to be studying Khaled Husseini’s acclaimed novel about two boys from different social classes growing up in 1970s Afghanistan. On April 27, teacher Brooke Bowman sent a letter to parents explaining the value of the 2003 best-seller as a teaching tool while warning of its mature content. In the scene in question, a servant boy is beaten and sexually assaulted by an older boy from a wealthier family.

THE HUB: Here’s Pack Square circa 1930, looking east, with Asheville City Hall and both the 1903 and 1928 Buncombe County Courthouses in the distance. Photo by George Masa. Original photo held by the NC Div. of Archives & History, this print courtesy of North Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Library, Asheville, North Carolina

Honor system: Vance Monument restoratio­n raises troubling questions

The upcoming restoration of the Vance monument is said to honor the memory of Zebulon Vance, Confederate military officer and wartime governor. But there’s another side to this story. By many accounts, Vance was a white supremacist who supported and profited from slavery. Many are saying that it’s important to consider what ideals and what history the momunment reflects — and also what is absent.