I love this one, because the school did what they were supposed to do, and sent a letter home about how Go Ask Alice contains profanity and sexual activity, etc., and some may find it disturbing -- and the letter itself is what kicked this all off. (One would assume, too -- but the article didn't say -- that it would have also given the opportunity to opt out of the assignment? Maybe not.)
Anyway. I'd probably have more sympathy for the folks who raised the challenge if they'd said something along the lines of, "Really? Go Ask Alice? You couldn't find something more current? Or, you know... well-written? Or, like... less IF YOU DO DRUGS, YOU'RE GOING TO THINK YOU'RE A GLASS OF ORANGE JUICE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE scare-tactic-y?" But, no.
So I find myself in the annoying position of having to defend a book that I think is crappy and lame, but hey. Them's the breaks. And while it is a crappy book, it did make an impression on me when I was that age. And I still talk to kids now who've just discovered it and want other books just like it.
None of that is the point, anyway -- the point is that while those parents certainly can veto the assignment for their kid, they shouldn't be able to veto it for someone else's kid. I'm sure if it were the other way around, and some other parent wanted to axe Dickens, Shakespeare or Austen (those were the challenger's examples of Literature, though why anyone would be reading them in health class, I don't know), that that very same parent would scream bloody murder.