The Players: Wesley Scroggins, a professor at Missouri State University and the Republic School District in Missouri; Julia Whitehead, executive director for the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library
The Opening Serve: In September of last year, Scroggins raised a public complaint and wrote an opinion piece titled "Filthy Books demeaning to Republic education," in the Springfield News-Leader. "In high school English classes, children are required to read and view material that should be classified as soft pornography," he wrote. One of the three books Scroggins mentions is Slaughterhouse-Five. "This is a book that contains so much profane language, it would make a sailor blush with shame...The content ranges from naked men and women in cages together so that others can watch them having sex to God telling people that they better not mess with his loser, bum of a son, named Jesus Christ." Scroggins's children are currently home-schooled, reports the Riverfront Times.
The school board banned Slaughterhouse-Five from school library shelves on July 25. "I congratulate them for doing what's right and removing the two books," said Scroggins in regards to the vote. "It's unfortunate they chose to keep the other book [The district banned Slaughterhouse and Sarah Ockler's 20 Boy Summer; it voted to keep Lauri Halse Anderson's Speak]." Vern Minor, the school district's superintendent, told the News-Leader, "We very clearly stayed out of discussion about moral issues. Our discussions from the get-go were age-appropriateness."