The Reverend Joseph Rogers of Destin had been pushing to ban the book called “My Brother Sam is Dead.''
He maintains it has obscene language and a negative approach to God, but the board says it can remain in middle school classrooms.
The book by is James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier, and was first published in 1974. It ranked 12th on the American Library Association's list of most-challenged books during the 1990s.
Teachers and school administrators were joined by a high school student who cited intellectual freedom in speaking against removing the book.
Okaloosa County School Superintendent Don Gaetz says banning one book could pave the way for removal of classics by such authors as William Shakespeare, who used profanity in his plays.