Highland Park ISD Suspends Seven Books After Parents Protest Their Content
Siddhartha? Yes, these savages have actually banned Hesse’s 1922 classic.
Highland Park High School students were told to put down their books last week.
The Art of Racing in the Rain — the book they were reading in a 10th-grade English class — was suspended from the school district’s approved book list. The novel about a race car driver grieving the loss of his wife includes a sex scene that made some parents uncomfortable.
It was among seven books suspended last week after parents challenged their content because of sex scenes and references to rape, abuse and abortion. In emails and at meetings, parents said high school students should not be exposed to some of the hardships and controversies of adulthood.
This later paragraph is especially telling:
Thad Smith, a parent and Highland Park graduate, said at a school board meeting that he was “frightened by the changes to recommended reading that have happened since I graduated.” Smith said his company’s email filter prevented him from sending an excerpt from one of the books.
Smith is quite wrong. When I was in high school (ca. mid 60s) we read such works as Tea and Sympathy (which involves much explicit language and the seduction of a student by a teacher’s wife) and, of course, Catcher in the Rye, the adolescent classic that likewise includes many sexual references and a lot of realistic (ie very raw) language. It was all part of the process of introducing young people to the adult world, in sometimes raw but carefully measured doses. Everyone but the most ignorant understood this and the ignorant knew to hide their ignorance in shame. Standards have become much less, not more, permissive since every ignoramus with an axe to grind can access suitable talking points on the net and a talking head or radio mouth to assure them that their ignorance is not ignorance at all.
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