Nov. 3, 2014 

Dear HPISD Parents & Staff,


We value the recent conversations we have had with students, parents, employees, alumni and community members regarding literature selection for students, and we respect all viewpoints in this matter.


As part of our policy and process, we are naming a reconsideration committee to review a book that has recently been challenged, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. It is being taught in all English II classes this school year.  


Selected members include the following, all of whom either volunteered or were nominated:

  • Lauren Bailey, HPHS teacher
  • Jill Bellomy, HPMS librarian
  • Martha Coleman, parent
  • Charlene Gowdey, parent
  • Lisa Ham, HPISD instructional technology director and library services coordinator
  • Sheila Holmes, parent
  • Tavia Hunt, parent
  • Amy Liu, HPHS student
  • Micah Lyles, HPHS lead counselor
  • Holly Philbin, parent
  • Chris Walters, HPHS student
  • Tara Wilcox, HPHS teacher

The committee members will read the book and meet to discuss whether it conforms to the principles of selection set out in policy EFA (LOCAL). In order to give them the privacy and freedom they will need to focus on their work, their meetings will not be open to the public. The result will be a written report, which will be available to the public.


We thank the committee members in advance for their willingness to serve. We will continue to keep you updated, and we will ensure transparency and a strict adherence to policy throughout the process.




Dr. Dawson Orr
Superintendent of Schools
Highland Park ISD
Mr. Walter Kelly
Highland Park High School

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