An Indiana teacher who used a much lauded bestseller, The Freedom Writers Diary, to try to inspire under-performing high-school students has been suspended from her job without pay for 18 months.
The Writers Diary, a series of true stories written by inner-city teenagers, was put together by a teacher, Erin Gruwell, and has been celebrated as a model for transforming young lives. It was made into a film with Hilary Swank last year.
Teachers' union officials say that a single board member objected to swearing in the book. The school board member allegedly persuaded the other six officials to ban Heermann from teaching the book. It remains available in school libraries.