education: and then the oral sex!
: oral stimulation of the genitals : cunnilingus, fellatio
Sounds so much less entertaining when it’s put like that, doesn’t it? James pointed this out on twitter a little while ago: Menifee school officials remove dictionary over term ‘oral sex’
[The Press-Enterprise, 1/12/10] 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.
School officials will review the dictionary to decide if it should be permanently banned because of the “sexually graphic” entry, said district spokeswoman Betti Cadmus.
Nothing about this appears on the school district’s website, their latest “news” entry being from last November. I hardly think I need to add any comment to this one… except this: a single parent complaint caused them to ban the dictionary, and as this story clarifies, it wasn’t even a student that noticed the entry:
[Southwest Riverside News Network, 1/24/10] Cadmus said that when the parent–who was volunteering in her son’s classroom when she came across the word–complained to the school’s principal about the explicit language, curriculum officials with the district made a decision to temporarily remove the books.
Here we have a wild overreaction becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sure, the books are removed now, but when they come back, all this press is going to get a lot of curious students heading straight to that page in their class dictionary–pretending, of course, that they haven’t already heard about it on local news or in many other unrelated uses on the internet and among classmates. What should be interesting now is them trying to find a suitable dictionary that contains absolutely zero references to anything that could be construed as inappropriate in any way.
Unlike some other countries that widely enforce censorship as a government policy, we Americans don’t need ours telling us what not to learn, we can take care of that all by ourselves!