An Idaho high school is considering the ironically Orwellian move to ban the book “1984.”
At least one parent complained about a violent and sexually charged passage in the dystopian George Orwell novel, which was being taught in two senior government classes at Rigby High School, reported the Moscow-Pullman Daily News.
Jefferson School District administrators were considering whether to discontinue teaching the book after the superintendent questioned whether the passage aligned with community goals, ideals and institutions.
The passage describes “1984” protagonist Winston Smith’s first encounter with a character called Julia during a mandatory “Two-Minute Hate” session, when he is aroused by her beauty but frustrated because physical love is forbidden by party rules.
“He would flog her to death with a rubber truncheon,” the passage reads. “He would tie her naked to a stake and shoot her full of arrows like Saint Sebastian. He would ravish her and cut her throat at the moment of climax.”
More than 500 people have signed an online petition denouncing Rigby High School administrators for considering a ban on the book, which describes the dangers to freedom by government control of information and thought.
The petition was set up Friday but picked up supporters at the start of “Banned Book Week” on Monday.
Superintendent Lisa Sherick said officials could remove the book from classrooms, or possibly allow it to remain as an assignment but give students the option to read another book instead.