The update below was shared with the Meredith College campus community on July 6, 2023.
After Meredith College announced Stolen Focus as its 2023 Summer Reading Program book, members of the campus community, including Meredith Angels for Disability Advocacy, shared concerns about the book’s content regarding the causes of ADHD and the appropriateness of medications used to treat it, according to members of the Summer Reading Program committee. There were also concerns shared about some chapters’ effect on incoming students, including obscuring Meredith’s support for students with disabilities or putting a burden on students in the small group discussions to make points using their own experiences as persons with disabilities or diagnoses.
After carefully weighing these concerns, the College has decided not to use Stolen Focus as its Summer Reading Program choice. While the SRP selection is intended to generate healthy discussion in the context of a common learning experience, using Stolen Focus would be counter to the Summer Reading Program’s additional goal of helping to ease students’ transitions to college.
The College appreciates all who brought these important concerns to its attention. Meredith College’s mission is to educate and inspire students “to live with integrity and provide leadership for the needs, opportunities, and challenges of society.” The Summer Reading Program committee was able to reconsider the impact of this book choice thanks to our students using their voices to inspire change.
The Summer Reading Program will instead provide a website with common learning resources that will address how technology overload can affect thinking and learning.