My goodness. A high school outside of Chicago has recently decided to move a piece of pornographic work (“Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes (Parts 1 & 2)”) from it’s “required” to its “optional” reading list for an AP Literature class after parents and an advocacy group spent months complaining. How good of them. I suppose that simply having access to porn as a minor is better than being required to read it, but really, WTF is wrong with people?
Even if we accept that a work which contains passages which are pornographic by any measure is one of the best and most important pieces of literature produced in the last 50 years, can’t we leave some things to the adults? We have several centuries of literature in the Western Cannon as well as work from around the world. Yet the morons running high schools can’t find ANYTHING else to give kids who aren’t even old enough to legally obtain porn to read except a pornographic play? Seriously? But it’s OK, because the extremely graphic and raw descriptions of homosexual sex aren’t really porn because they have literary merit. Apparently literary meaning that it can be read. You see?
I think my favorite part of the story above is the school official who says that the problem is that a conservative watch dog group which parents turned to for help has been pulling sections out from the work of context. Because “I want you to f*** me, hurt me, make me bleed” followed by just that in excruciating detail is perfectly innocent and non-obscene in context I’m sure. Here’s a link to a story which includes some of the material from the play if you are wondering if this is just one of those alarmist over reactions which sometimes do occur.
Homeschoolers are sometimes criticised for being overly critical of public schools. There are many good schools, providing kids with a good education. Which to a certain extent is true. However, I actually grew up not far from this high school. It’s a good high school in a rich suburb with great test scores, involved parents, programs you’d have a hard time finding at most colleges. Exactly the sort of school that many people who are suspect of homeschooling would hold up as a good place to send your kids. Except it’s not. And often you don’t know this until something has happened which violates your values and the primacy of your role as a parent. I totally respect people who can handle this game and the people who bring their kids through the maze safe and sound. I really do. It’s just not a maze game I’m willing to run the chance of having to play.
HT: Why Homeschool