**So, I totally had this little rant planned, then saw that my bloggy friend Cheryl posted about the same thing, so click here to go check out what she had to say too!
Parents are at it again. In their quest to protect their children from all things bad, some parents at a school in California have managed to get the dictionary banned. Yes, you read that right. Apparently, the dictionary contains a definition for "oral sex". I'll wait while you finish gasping...Oh, you might want to go ahead and gasp over some other words in the dictionary...shit, damn, breast, penis...
I can remember reading the dictionary when I was younger and giggling over a few words. I'm pretty sure all kids do. (Even these parents who have deemed it inappropriate for their children) I turned out alright. As a future English teacher, I'm concerned that at the rate parents are yanking books from schools I'm going to be left with nothing to teach. I already know I can't teach about Harry Potter (kids might think they are wizards and attempt to fly broomsticks around campus) or any book that gives them any information about sex (well, Shakespeare is ok because the kids are too dense to get all those sex jokes, right). Now I'm going to be left without a dictionary too.
What is it with parents?! I mean, I am one but I still don't get it. Sex is not a bad thing. Teaching our children about sex and responsibility is not a bad thing. Telling a kid that sex is shameful and something they shouldn't do is only going to accomplish two things: they're gonna do it and they're gonna lie about it. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not going to be encouraging my kids to run out and sex it up. But I am going to encourage them to wait to experience the wonder of it until they are in a committed relationship with someone that they deeply care for. In the end, our children are going to make their own decisions. All we can do is give them the information and tools to help them and hope they make the right decisions for themselves. Removing dictionaries from a classroom or prohibiting a book that talks about sex from a library is not going to stop a child from growing up.