Mother of Highland Park Middle School Student Sues Writer's Folks Over "Defamatory" Novel

A curious tale involving Highland Park Middle School, two UT Southwestern docs, a 362-page novel and a whole bunch of underage kids allegedly depicted as doing things they shouldn't oughta just hit Courthouse News. Read it for yourself. Long story short: The mother of an unnamed HPMS student (identified only as "E.T.," a 14-year-old) is suing the parents of 14-year-old "N.C." for the boy's digital tome Nobody's Perfect, which, says the suit filed in Dallas County District Court earlier this week, "uses the real names (in many cases the full names) of Highland Park Middle School students, teachers and parents," including E.T., who says the suit, is placed "in unfathomable, graphic scenes ranging from immoral and demeaning to shocking and illegal."

The complaint then goes on to detail exactly that those scenes contain -- not exactly kid-friendly stuff, much more Larry Clark. It also alleges school officials knew about the book, got their hands on it and determined it "contained obscene content which was damaging to some of the students and disruptive to the school environment," leading to the suspension of the author, who has since returned to school. Calls are out to the attorney who filed the suit, as well as the author's parents, Lisa Halvorson and Stephen Cannon; and HPISD's director of communications, Helen Williams. The suit, incidentally, claims they were all shades of negligent for having failed, among other things, "to monitor the movies, television programs, books, and other influential material that was viewed and read by N.C."

Update at 2:39 p.m.: HPISD's Williams just sent a brief statement from the district. It reads, in full: "The campus principal and assistant principal were told about the book and given a copy. They investigated the incident and took appropriate action. We cannot go into detail about disciplinary actions because we are prohibited by law from discussing such matters. We consider the lawsuit to be a private matter between the litigants."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky