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Archive for Thursday, April 6, 2006

Banning books, abstinence on board agenda

April 6, 2006

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— Efforts to ban certain books from high school reading lists and require abstinence-only sex education will be considered by the Kansas State Board of Education next week.

The board is not scheduled to act on either issue during its meeting in Wichita on Tuesday.

But discussions are scheduled on the topics, and several board members have voiced support of abstinence-only sex education and tightening obscenity laws to prevent schools from using certain books.

Officials from the Blue Valley school district in Johnson County will give a presentation on how they handle requests to remove books from reading lists.

The district has been embroiled in controversy for months, after some parents asked that numerous books containing obscenities, vulgar language or sexually explicit material be removed from high school reading lists. The list included "Beloved" by Toni Morrison, "Black Boy" by Richard Wright and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey.

On sex education, the board voted last month to require that students get their parents' permission before taking sex education.

Some on the board have said they would seek a requirement that sex education classes teach only that students should abstain from sex until marriage.

At next week's meeting, officials will present information on abstinence only and a program that teaches abstinence is preferred but also provides information on how to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Comments

xenophonschild 8 years, 8 months ago

Will this never end? Get these idiots off the state board of education! Just one shocking insult to the intelligence after another. Books! Abstinence! Thanks for making Kansas look even more ridiculous.

Ragingbear 8 years, 8 months ago

It's the board of Edumacation. And everybody knows it's Herbie Hancock that signed the Constitution.

Moderateguy 8 years, 8 months ago

So typical. The same people who want abstinence only taught are wanting to require graphic depictions of abortion taught. You can't have it both ways people. Get your head out of the sand!

pelliott 8 years, 8 months ago

I wonder if there are any recall possibilities. Would a vote signiture petition work to force a recall?

badger 8 years, 8 months ago

headdesk

I swear by gods and little green apples, it's like you all have timewarped back forty years.

Whenever a book was banned, I personally went to the public library to get myself on the waiting list for it (because there were usually fifty other kids with the same ideas). If the library didn't stock it, my mom would usually buy it for me.

The maternal unit, it doth not dig the censorship.

wonderhorse 8 years, 8 months ago

badger

I have a 16 yr old boy. He has already read all of the books on the "banned" list because he is a scholar. If he hadn't been able to get them from school, he knows I already own them. Banning books is wrong, period.

Of course, so is abstinence-only sex ed.

Linda Endicott 8 years, 8 months ago

This reminds me of when I was 12 or so, and the big, bad buzz was all about "Valley of the Dolls". Everyone being so up in arms about it made me want to read the book, which I did. Not that it was even considered for the school library.

Oh, yeah, we smirked and giggled at some of the swear words and stuff. But basically, what I learned from that book was that Hollywood isn't always as glamorous and perfect as it seems to be.

That was about it. It didn't warp me at all.

Come to think of it, the movie "Valley of the Dolls" used to be rated X. Now you can see it played on pretty much any channel on TV. And really, I've seen the movie, and it doesn't contain anything that you couldn't possibly see on an episode of Law and Order SVU.

My, how our values have changed. And yet we're still afraid to let the kiddies read books. Like they're going to be so influenced by them that they'll suddenly forget everything that their parents have taught them about their family values.

A few years ago, all the schools wanted to ban "Annie On My Mind"...so I got a copy and read it. I thought it was a great book.

We're talking about high school students here. Most of them are going to be adults soon, anyway, and can read whatever the hell they want to.

wonderhorse 8 years, 8 months ago

"Come to think of it, the movie "Valley of the Dolls" used to be rated X."

Think it was R, but point well made. It seems pretty tame now. The conversations I have had with my sons would have made my grandmother run from the room. My mother, on the other hand, has learned to deal with them (she has 5 grandkids). I hope my kids can be open with THEIR kids. This is about life and death, literall. Yes, abstinence is 100% sure, but it is also not the 100% choice.

SpeedRacer 8 years, 8 months ago

I went to a conservative, Latin Catholic school in the South in the 60's. The reading list included Catcher in the Rye which, in later years, was on the book burning list in many states. Regardless of the content of the book, educators saw the need to include the book because it was literature. Those who want to ban books would have a real eye opener if they actually READ their bibles. It is chock full of sex and violence.

Linda Endicott 8 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, it probably was R...but an R now would probably have been an X then...lol.

The Graduate would probably seem kind of tame now, too. Maybe I should watch it again.

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