I am assuming your child is in Advanced Language Arts classes? They are reading on High school level. Our daughter was the same and remember, their senior years they will be taking AP classes which are on a college level, so again those books will also be a bit more mature..
Yes, this book is very disturbing because it is the truth.
Your child is just months away from being in High School.
If you are concerned about YOUR child reading this book, ask for your child to not be a participant. But do not ask that they not teach it to all students.
We had parents that did not like a particular book in 4th grade. The teacher told the 2 parents that their children could choose from the list of over 25 books, but the parents said they did not feel any of the 4h graders should read this particular book. This is book that had been read for many many years before. I read it and had not problem with it. "The Egypt Game" The parents were concerned because she felt in encouraged the children to run away and had occult over tones..
Our daughter read all sorts of books by the time she was in 8th grade. many way above high school level. I read all of the same books. We loved sharing our thoughts, rating the writing, the content all sorts of things. It helps me know how she makes decisions.
Once she got into high school it was hard to keep up with all of her reading, but I am glad for all of the previous years, I can honestly say I read every book she ever read.
I trust teachers to do their jobs. The fact that the will be analyzing it and discussing it as a group is important to understanding human behavior at its worse. It will be interesting for your daughter to hear what others felt about the different subjects and if she wants, she will be able to express her feelings and reactions. This is how we will make sure it will never happen again.
If you have read the book, you will also be able to discuss these subjects more openly with your child. Isn't this our goal? To keep communications about any subject with our children open so they will continue to come to us no matter what? Once she is in High school, this will REALLY be even more important, this is the first step.
It is hard to allow our children to know the ugly truths, but I would rather they learn it in a school setting, than on their own with no educated support.