Do any of you ever pay attention to your child’s literary book list that they hand out at the beginning of the school year? Have you came across a book you thought wasn’t suitable for his/her grade level? What did you do about it? And should schools update the reading lists to fit with the times?
Well somebody’s parents paid attention to the reading list. Parents of Salem High School students became outraged when they saw their kid reading Toni Morrison’s Beloved and now they want it banned from the school district asap!
In a public meeting 100 students and parents spoke on how they felt about the book. Ms. Barb Dame fixed her lips to say Beloved contained ‘gratuitous language, violence and sex acts’. Matt Dame (I’m assuming is her husband) added that ‘…in the first 2 chapters there are 5 references to sex with cows and other sex’. Wow!
The AP English teacher has taught this book for 10 years and he said not once has anyone complained until now. He admits that the novel meets the standards given in order for books to be considered on the reading list so what’s the problem again?
Oh, I forgot to mention one little thing – the students are specially selected to take this class and when the reading list are given at the beginning of the school year the student and parents meet with teacher to determine if the novels are age appropriate for their children so it wasn’t like they were not warned about what books were going to be studied. And if they didn’t like that their child was reading that they had the option of picking something else that is more appropriate.
So why the change of heart if they already knew?
When I read this on GalleyCat’s website it didn’t say what grade these students were in. I assumed it was like third graders or something then I dug deeper and found out it was high school students. After picking my lip up off the floor I thought to myself how I would have loved to been in that meeting just to ask those parents opposing this fictional book what do they think their precious little angels do when they are not around? What do they think the kids watch on tv or say at home behind closed doors or say over their friend’s house? Go check their phones and read some of the texts, hop on their Facebook pages and flip thru the photos. Not all high schoolers are bad or into something illegal but I bet what parents find on those FB pages or texts makes Beloved look like the Bible. Why would you complain about one book (which is a literary classic by the way) that is not even mandatory? They could have chosen another fiction novel to do the essay on. A gun was not put to their heads when it came down to deciding what book to read. It amazes me that a fictitious story stirs up controversy when each year schools teach about slavery and the degrading conditions blacks lived in and ish they went thru for an ounce of respect and freedom. Do they not feel that this subject matter is appropriate? I remember speaking on that in school and although that is apart of ‘our’ history the brutality these warriors, visionaries, inventors, educators, thinkers is 100 times worse than a little ol fiction story. I wonder how Toni Morrison feel about this anyway? I mean she has established a reputable amount of fans and continues to get more with the younger generation under me so she probably won’t think too much of it.
If these students cannot be challenged in schools in all subjects than why send your child to school? It is about critical thinking, expanding ones’ mind, getting the skills needed for real life but if parents cop a hissy fit at every little thing what will that teach their spoiled little brats once they graduate? I swear I wonder sometimes about these modern parents. Anyway a decision will be made early next week if Beloved will be banned from the school district or not.
What do you think about the possible banning? Have you been iffy about a book on your child’s reading list?
Peace and luv!