Lately, there have been crazy stories about a single parent intervening in various public school districts around the country and insisting that dictionaries and books be withdrawn from the curriculum and library, because of something seen as promoting sex.
In one case in California, a parent protested when it was discovered that a Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary included the word and definition of “oral sex”.
In a Virginia district, the Diary of Anne Frank, the best literature dealing with the Holocaust, was temporarily removed from the curriculum because one parent did not like that there was evidence in the updated edition of Anne Frank’s growing sexual awakening at age 14.
Why do administrators allow a single person, a parent, who is uptight about sexual matters, to dictate to the school and district what should be allowed to be read and utilized? Since when are most parents qualified to judge what is a good educational experience or appropriate sources?
Do we allow people in other professions to be told how to run their field of expertise by parents or the general public? NO, and it must not be the policy of educators and school districts to cater to every parent who has prejudice or narrow mindedness toward minority groups, or uptight attitudes about sexuality. These parents have no right to decide what everyone else must see or hear or read.
If they have that much objection to the public schools and wish to shelter their children from the real world, these parents have the privilege to withdraw their children from the public schools and enroll them in religiously based schools, or home school them. But it must be a firm NO to the idea that these single examples or even multiple examples of interfering parents should have the power to promote censorship!