Thursday, September 17, 2009

Your beliefs are touching me

I'm re-posting this from my writing blog. I was able to scrounge some halfway decent stuff from that bucket!

Self-censorship can be a beneficial thing. It’ll keep you from looking like an ass at inopportune moments and pretty much keep your dignity intact. But when it comes to school librarians self-censoring for the sake of the children, we have a completely different issue.

Especially in this economy, I can understand walking on egg shells and playing nice with the school board when they “highly recommend” that a book not get bought for their library because a job is better than no job. But the ones that do it out of fear of backlash from the parents or even because they themselves don’t agree with the text is a censoring best left to their own children.

In a poll conducted by the School Library Journal, a sampling of school librarians of all school levels from all over the country were anonymously polled about their censoring. That poll shows, among other things, that school librarians won’t shelve a book due to the potential threat from parents, this overwhelmingly over any kind of reaction from the administration. Now what does that say? That parents need to keep parenting to their own children maybe?

It’s bad enough when parents come out and officially challenge a book, or succeed in getting a book officially banned (honestly, they have to know that it has the adverse effect on their intentions) but when librarians refuse to even let the book out in the open for fear of repercussion is hitting a little below the belt. I’m the only one that should be dictating what my child can and can not read, not some worm with nothing better to do than organize a rally to get a perfectly good book banned because she doesn’t like the word scrotum in it. It’s not like it was on every page. It was said once. Ooo!

The level of bending to these harpies is getting ridiculous. Why does someone else decide, in a freely accessible school library, what is appropriate and available to my child? That’s not their call. Age-appropriate books should be shelved in the appropriate libraries regardless of what others might thing of the content. If they don’t like it, then their kid doesn’t have to read it but don’t take away the access my child has to it because you have a telephone pole firmly wedged up your butt. I understand that objectively deciding what is age appropriate does require judgment calls and can be individualized but refusing to shelve a book because it has a lesbian secondary character and said school “doesn’t have any gay students?” That’s just idiocy.

And, like that article points out, it’s not just the right wing conservatives throwing feces at the rotating device about books. The politically correct liberals are getting their undergarments all bunched up. One woman challenged a book with a dead turtle in it citing that turtles have feelings too and that they can feel fear. O_o *headdesk* Does she realize that no turtles were harmed in the making of that book? Does she think it was written in turtle blood or something?

Really, this is insanity. Keep your beliefs to yourself and don’t try to impose them on entire school systems. I really don’t care what you do or don’t want your kid to read but don’t you dare try and limit what my child has access to because you’re a nut ball. If my kid wants to read about lesbians with dead turtles, then he’s going to read it. If it’s too much for him, he’ll put it down or come to me and start asking questions. While lesbians and dead turtles might not exist in those people’s planes of existence, they certainly exist in mine and I don’t want to make my child ignorant to the fact that lesbians are just like everyone else and everyone loses people and animals they love. It’s a lesson of life and I’d rather they learn it at 10 than 40 because Mommy Dearest wouldn’t let reality touch them.

Seriously, pick up Bacci ball or something. Something better to occupy your time. I hear knitting’s nice.


L.H. Parker said...

This also applies to librarians visiting schools. I went on several middle school visits this spring--something my district does to encourage students to participate in their local Summer Reading Program. A good portion of the visit involves book talks and getting the kids excited about new books. While preparing for the visits, I was advised to bring PG-rated YA books and to avoid stuff with "inappropriate contents" that would upset parents.

Jessica said...

I really hate babying and hand holding that some people do and then act shocked when we all don't follow along. You want to keep away from something or keep your kids from it good for you but don't do it with others. You are not the censorship police you are a dick I look down on for being so backward and inbreed. Stay the hell away from me with your idiotic ideas of what is ok and what isn't. I guarantee I disagree with you.

Donna said...

I just want to hold a sign up in these people's faces that says, 'No Touchy.' Think they'll get it?

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