Oh California…

by Jason Stotts

Living in California, I am constantly surprised by the asinine laws here and the complete disregard of individual rights and freedoms.  Sometimes, however, California goes so far as to be comical (in the bad way).

Apparently a school district in Riverside California has removed the dictionaries from the classrooms.  No, it’s not because they’re not into spelling anymore, but rather the dictionary had the audacity to define a prohibited word.

After a parent complained about an elementary school student stumbling across “oral sex” in a classroom dictionary, Menifee Union School District officials decided to pull Merriam Webster’s 10th edition from all school shelves earlier this week. (from the Riverside Press-Enterprise)

I think this is appalling and unacceptable.  The actions of the school district, that is.  To think that some words are so inherently bad that simply reading them could corrupt the morals of the younger generation is absurd.  Frankly, the kids are exposed to far worse from their classmates and TV.  The biggest problem is that this is censorship of ideas for moral reasons.  To a christian, sex is so dirty and disgusting that it can only be practiced after marriage with one’s spouse and only to reproduce – you also damn well better not enjoy it.  They prefer that the children remain hopelessly ignorant and have to stumble their way through understanding their sexuality than to educate them about such a low and disgusting subject.  They would rather take a dictionary from a child and have it suffer in ignorance than to potentially have access to “objectionable material.”

Frankly, the actions of the school in Riverside sicken me.  I would like to know why the school would take the dictionaries off the shelves because one parent complained.  Whoever made that decision should be fired.  I think the other parents should complain about their children’s lack of educational resources that they, as parents and taxpayers, are paying for.

On the bright side, at least some of the parents have retained some of their reason:

“Censorship in the schools, really? Pretty soon the only dictionary in the school library will be the Bert and Ernie dictionary,” said Emanuel Chavez, the parent of second- and sixth-grade students. “If the kids are exposed to it, it’s up to the parents to explain it to them at their level.”

Indeed, soon these children will be reduced to the Bert and Ernie dictionary as their minds are crippled by lack of information.

The issue here is censorship, plain and simple.  The school has no right to censor the dictionary of all things!  Maybe next they should make grammar illegal.

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