I’m starting to lose my sense of outrage at parents trying to prevent other people’s children from reading certain books in school. The “challenges” are becoming so ridiculous that my dominant response is…entertained.
In a new school district in Riverside County, California (land of my birth), officials have decided that Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary will remain in fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms even though it offers a defintion of “oral sex.” But, the Los Angeles Times reports, students will have to take permission slips home, and parents who don’t want their children to look in that book can insist they use “alternative dictionaries.” Oh, that’ll work.
In Union, Oklahoma, a parent objected to a book spun off from the Arthur and Postcards from Buster TV shows in 2005, which depicts children making maple sugar with their moms in Vermont. Two of those moms are a couple. One of Education Secretary Margaret Stallings’s first acts in office was to take back a federal grant because of this episode, showing how hollow her boss’s claim to “compassionate conservatism” was. The Tulsa World brings news that the school board voted to keep that book in the library since:
- The whole point of Postcards from Buster was to show how different people live.
- The board was pretty sure some children going to Union schools might have two parents of the same sex as well.
I can hardly wait to see how would-be censors top those.