Murder sparks Goth novel’s removal

The grisly triple murder in Medicine Hat has forced a school in the southern Alberta city to pull a resource book indefinitely from its curriculum.

Although the Alberta book Runner is a valuable read for Grade 7 and 8 students, its content strikes a sensitive chord among Hatters reeling from the April 23 discovery of a dead family, said Alexandra junior high principal Lorne Cooper.

“One of the characters in Runner is a Goth girl,” said Cooper, whose city was rocked by the murders in which the 12- and 23-year-old suspects are allegedly part of the Goth sub-culture.

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Cooper said one activity of the course was to have the students draw themselves up as a Goth character.

But that activity drew the ire of one mother, and school officials agreed it was inappropriate teaching material given the real-life accusation a 12-year-old killed her dad, mom and eight-year-old brother in Medicine Hat.

Runner author Peter McPhee of Langdon said he’s not happy about the censorship of his book, which focuses on a brother searching for his runaway sister in Calgary.

“I don’t like the idea of any book being pulled,” McPhee said. “But whoever did the lesson plan using my book seems to have their own agenda — the Goth part is a very tiny part.”

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
Calgary Sun, Canada
May 8, 2006
Todd Saelhof, Calgary Sun

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