When I first saw the one sentence blurb to this article in my Publisher’s Weekly email, I was ready to go ape shit. Some Texas mom had a book banned for the use of poo-poo head? Are you effing kidding me right now? Our verbal repertoire is shrinking, don’t you think?
But then I read the article and I got it. I actually agreed with the book banning. For all of the Ban This! stuff that I do every year, how could I agree with a book banning, right? Goes against everything I believe in. But in this case it makes sense.
Why? Because the woman’s kid was suspended earlier in the year for calling another student a poo-poo head. As FUCKING ridiculous as that is, and for which I could rail on that school system for having nothing better to do than not time out, not corner, not even detention, but flat out suspend a child for calling another a poo-poo head, I get what the mother did.
Here’s her kid that got suspended for calling someone that and then a few months later, they’re reading a book with the same “slur” in it. Something seems unbalanced there. Kids can read it, but they can’t use it?
I think the greater issue here is that this school board needs to re-evaluate how they discipline their children. Perhaps they’re taking themselves a tad too seriously. Not to mention they’re making themselves look like raging hypocrites and sending a mixed message to very young kids. They’re losing no matter what here.
But it brings up a good point for all reading levels, especially high school level. How many books have I read that I know are in school libraries that have vulgar language? Would a student not get in trouble for vocalizing those same words in the school halls? Isn’t that a bit of a double standard? How can we condemn these kids for saying things in the books we’re providing to them? Do we lighten up on the rules or remove the hypocritical books? How can it be justified that it’s okay to read vulgarity but not use it yourself? How can you give a student detention for saying swears found in a book assigned to them in English class?
Kind of puts people in a sticky situation. And thus ‘because I said so’ was born.