*昨日のエントリーの英語版です

School board to vote on Korea book
By Lisa Kocian, Globe Staff  |  December 31, 2006

The Dover-Sherborn Regional School Committee is poised to vote Tuesday night on whether "So Far From the Bamboo Grove," a book that has sparked a fiery debate in town, should be studied by sixth-graders.
The committee will meet to discuss the book for the first time since November, when a panel composed mostly of teachers and administrators recommended removing the book from the sixth-grade curriculum.
The panel reviewed the book, which tells the story of a Japanese family fleeing Korea at the end of World War II, after about a dozen parents complained that it was unfair in its portrayal of Koreans and too graphic for 11- and 12-year olds.

"If it was a perfect world, I would like to see us vote on it in January," said School Committee chairwoman Ellen Williamson . She said a vote was possible but she didn't know whether her fellow members felt they had enough information to vote.

Even if removed from the curriculum, the award-winning book, which has been taught in the district for 13 years, will remain in the school library.

Superintendent Perry Davis, who supported the panel's recommendation, said he was planning to work on a summary for the committee of the roughly 50 e-mails the school district has received about the book.Some parents who are critical of the book's place in the curriculum have said they might support moving the book to a higher grade level and teaching it with more context.

The "fictionalized autobiography" was written by Yoko Kawashima Watkins, whose family lived in Korea during the war while her father, a Japanese government official, worked in Manchuria.

After the war, Japanese citizens were forced out of Korea, which they had occupied for more than three decades. Many thousands of Koreans had been killed or wounded or drafted into forced labor during the occupation.

The story, told through the eyes of Watkins, who was 11 at the time, details her family's perilous journey. She, her sister, and her mother are hunted by Koreans because of her father's role in the government. In the book, the girl witnesses women being raped and sees people die. Returning to Japan, the mother dies, and the girl and her sister are left in desperate poverty.

The book is taught in middle schools across the state and country.

Watkins, who lives on Cape Cod, has visited several area schools to talk about the book.
The state lists Watkins among 60 authors who are recommended for grades 5 through 8, said Nate Mackinnon, a spokesman for the Department of Education. He said in a recent interview that school districts decide what authors to teach and are under no obligation to use the list provided by the state.

Watkins considers herself a peace activist and has said she apologizes for her government's actions when she meets with students. She also has defended her book, saying it's not biased against Koreans.

But Henry Jaung, father of a sixth-grader in the Dover-Sherborn schools, has argued that the book tells a one-sided story with no historical context.
He said it portrays Koreans as the villains without any reference to the wrongs committed against the Koreans by the Japanese occupiers. He also argued that the book's graphic content is inappropriate for such young children.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/12/31/school_board_to_vote_on_korea_book/


Koreans have taught inappropriate graphic contents of sex slaves to their children, haven't they?