This morning I read about a school district in California that has pulled all copies of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary from its shelves and formed a committee to study all entries in the reference book to determine if it has “age-inappropriate” words.
They’d better have a large committee. One report I read said that there are over 147,000 entries in that dictionary. That’s a lot of scrutinizing. I hope someone brings them pizza and soft drinks to keep them fortified.
Apparently this all started when a student stumbled across the entry for “oral sex” that had the explicit definition. His parents were horrified that his young, tender eyes saw that definition and demanded that the school board do something. Some families are supporting the school’s actions and say it’s up to the district to do everything it can to shield children from explicit language.
Okay, how many of you did not EVER go to the reference section of the library to see what kind of titillating words you might find? Or how about those issues of National Geographic that showed half-naked people?
Let me see your hands….. I thought so.
Seeking out that kind of material was a natural rite of passage for children, along with playing “doctor” and all the other inquisitive things we did. Would we get in trouble if our parents caught us? Absolutely. Did it harm our little psyches? I don’t think so. At least not for most of us.
Did our parents rush to ban the National Geographic from the library? Of course not. How absurd.