echoes sentinel

ban all "authentic literature" books from schools

25 jan 2006

editor:

history repeats itself.  only this time things are worse.

according to "parent says book is inappropriate for students in middle school," a story and accompanying letter that appeared in the thursday, jan. 19 edition of the echoes-sentinel, a parent complained about her 11 year old reading a public school book about rape, incest, prostitution, and other sexually charged material inappropriate for any sixth grader, let alone her own child.

over five years ago, my public school kindergartner was presented with another such book.  at that time, the principal found it so inappropriate that she removed it from the library, and the superintendent said he could understand how some parents would find it objectionable.

this time around the parent was not so lucky.  this time things went horribly wrong and children remain in danger of being sexualized by the public school system.  "contemporary social issues" are claimed as the excuse why the book "has value to the instructional process."

does anyone in our community, other than librarians, educators, and sex offenders, believe an 11-year-old's exposure to stories of rape, incest, and prostitution is educational?

exactly what is the education that a child derives from reading such literature?  is there no other book available for educational purposes that excludes sexual content inappropriate for children?

why are public schools requiring children to read sexually inappropriate material except in the rare instance where a parent complains?  why can't schools be trusted to protect our children from sexually inappropriate material?

see how the superintendent feigns concern for a parent's complaint.  isn't he sweet when he says, "this is not intended to be confrontational."  next time he'll be "more cognizant in how the book is used in classrooms."  alternative books will be found for those "incompatible with a parent's preference."

what this really means is he is totally unconcerned with a parent's wishes except when a complaint is made.  then all efforts will be made to mollify that parent so all other children can continue reading about rape, incest, and prostitution.

public schools no longer have as their goal teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic.  now they are about exposing children early and often to raw, crude, sexually inappropriate material.  this so-called "authentic literature" or "street lit" is replacing traditional literature classics.

a former chairman of the california legislature's education committee has just this week said, "the authentic literature books are rife with profanity and are dominated by themes of death, crime, drug addiction, rapes, gang beatings, weird sex, homosexual encounters, and so on.  shockingly, many of them violate state obscenity laws and even school district age appropriate regulations."

there is something terribly wrong when a public school system foists such "instructional" material on our children.  it gets even worse when we let them get away with it because we do not get involved, we believe their propaganda, or we remain ignorant of the dangers.

i urge parents to demand that the superintendent and the school reverse course by withdrawing all "authentic literature" from the schools immediately.  it is our children in danger.  it is our public money after all.  demand that it be used the way we want, not the way radical extremists want.  then maybe the children can get an "authentic" education, not inappropriate sexual "instruction."

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