Return Neil Gaiman's book "Neverwhere" to the Alamogordo High School shelves and the curriculum.
  • Petitioned Alamogordo Public School Superintendent

This petition was delivered to:

George Straface
Alamogordo Public School Superintendent
School Board President
Allan Rickman
Alamogordo Public Schools Review Committee
APS Review Committee

Return Neil Gaiman's book "Neverwhere" to the Alamogordo High School shelves and the curriculum.

    1. Petition by

      Melissa Wilde

      Alamogordo, NM

Reading is a pleasure and necessary to encourage and facilitate independent thought.  The book, Neverwhere, has been temporarily banned by the Alamogordo School Board for one passage, which is believed to cause the entire novel to be "R-Rated" by at least one parent. 

Neverwhere has been taught in Alamogordo every year since 2004, sometimes to multiple grade levels and often by more than one teacher. That means that thousands of students have read and enjoyed this book. It's success is proven, just as the success of a book like To Kill a Mockingbird is proven, though it may contain situations and words we don't all agree with. 


Taken in context the passage in question lends perspective to the character who is witnessing the offending actions and conversation.  The knee-jerk reaction of the school board dismisses the professional experience and skills of our educators teaching the book, the maturity of the students and the opinions of valid literary critics. By removing the book mid-lesson, they have disrupted the learning of other students and are ignoring the rights of other parents who trust educators and have no problem with the book.

We want two things to happen:

1. To reinstate the book and send the message that we as concerned parents and members of the community will not tolerate censorship being used to diminish the learning process and expansion of independent thought in our youth.


2. For the board to work with its teachers to create a better policy for dealing with any future issues like this, that gives parents and outlet but that also clearly respects teachers' judgment and students' freedom to explore a variety of subjects. Yes, parents can ask for a different assignment if their personal views conflict with a certain book, but they shouldn't be able to change and dictate the entire curriculum because of those views.

Alamogordo Public School Superintendent, George Straface
Allan Rickman, School Board President
APS Review Committee, Alamogordo Public Schools Review Committee
Return Neil Gaiman's book "Neverwhere" to the Alamogordo High School shelves and to the curriculum. Please take steps to strengthen policies: protect students' rights to an education that respects their maturity and teachers' freedom to select what they think best to teach.

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Recent signatures


    1. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Carolyn Pennington BURLESON, TX
      • 11 months ago

      I do not understand the kind of mind that condones banning books. How dare someone tell me what I can or cannot read? What right do they have to decide what my child can or cannot read?

      • 12 months ago

      Banning literature is anti-intellectual and undemocratic

    • Tripp Reade DURHAM, NC
      • 12 months ago

      As a librarian, a writer, and, perhaps most importantly, the parent of a teenager, I am against censorship, no matter how well-intentioned the censor imagines herself or himself to be.

    • lynn laakso HORICON, WI
      • 12 months ago

      I work in a public library so we deal with this fairly often.Our stance is if you don't like it don't read it-we do have forms poeple can fill out to protest a book but we have never pulled one from our shelves-we will discuss it with the patron and explain why we have it and the importance of the freedom to read what you want.No one person or group should be able to tell others what they should and should not read.

    • Renee Handley CANDLER, NC
      • 12 months ago

      Books should NEVER be banned. Neil Gaiman is, hands down, one of the best authors of this generation. He should be encouraged to be read


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