Book About Natural "Highs" Banned in School District

It's a book that tells of daydreaming and out of body experiences -- even running nude -- all to get a "natural high."  But now it's off the library shelves at one East Texas school district.

"When a child picks the book up, it's very deceiving."

Dana Bowen says parents need to delve deeper into what their kids are reading.  The book is "Highs! Over 150 Ways To Feel Really Really Good Without Alcohol or Other Drugs."

"The ideas and concepts that it tries to introduce are abstract and fundamentally wrong in a couple of instances," Bowen says.   She complained to the Mount Enterprise school district asking the book to be removed from library selection.

It conatins ideas about visualization, self hypnosis, and out of body experiences.  Bowen says those suggestions and others conflict with her family's values.

"It had a chapter about getting naked.  And while I'm a firm believer in feeling comfortable with your body. I don't want him running through the backyard naked.  I don't think that's a good idea," Bowen.

"Maybe the book did present some things that wasn't appropriate for our students," says Superintendent Paul Moore.   A unanimous vote from Moore and the rest of the board is sending highs off the shelf for the district's 420 students.

"In Houston and Dallas, where things are exposed to more things, it might be appropriate, but we're a small community. As a matter of fact people are sheltered here," he says.

'When we looked at the book and read through it, there's too much of this book that could be damaging,"  Bowen says.   She adds parents should look at what their kids are reading and hearing, and sometimes intervene.

Parents and teachers here say library books should enrich, not conflict.  They say a school should open minds, though they say in a way that reflects a community's values.

The author of the book is Boston psychologist Dr. Alex Packer.  He didn't return our message Tuesday afternoon.  But in a story in the Henderson Daily News, Packer said parents have the right to control what their children read, though he is concerned the decision bars access to the book for other children.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.