As many people here have informed me, they are going to face and encounter all of these themes in their lives. So does that necessarily mean they have to get indoctrinated in these themes in English class? Is English class the only point of encounter we have to prepare them for these themes? I thought English class was to encounter great literature, not to challenge social conventions and become savvy on the whole panopoly of sexual crimes and deviant behaviors. Yes, people need to explore these concepts. My kids do as their horizons broaden and they encounter more of the world and they ask about them and have concerns. At Church, at youth group, helping friends through problems, sharing experiences, watching the news. When something is difficult we seek out ways to help them process, and sometimes it is in one of these novels.
It’s like an unfolding awareness that blossoms into a beautiful human person if allowed to take its natural course. When I was little, my mom had these flowers that grew in green fuzzy pods. When they bloomed they were brilliant pinks and reds and oranges. One time my sister and I got impatient and we peeled off the fuzzy green pods so that we could see the flowers. We left them on the stems because we still wanted them to be in the garden. And the colorful petals were in there alright, all bound together tightly. We tried to pull the petals open because they looked so forlorn all closed up like that. But it tore off the petals so we decided to wait. But when we ran back out that afternoon the petals had wilted and become dull and began to be brown at the edges. The ones we had not tampered with opened over the next couple of days and were everything we had hoped they would be.
I guess what I am saying is that the sexual stuff is not necessary, and can be exceedingly harmful. It isn’t harmful every time. And it can be helpful in the right situation. But it can also be very harmful and it is not necessary. Unnecessary harm.
That is the essence, I suppose, for me. When children are in your care, should you not guard them from the threat of unnecessary harm? I don’t think ANYONE in that class benefitted from the passage from “The Highest Tide” in which the teenage boy visualized the attributes of his adult babysitter and “had his way with the sheets.” It wasn’t helpful! And it uses provocative language that becomes a temptation to and a justification for behaviors that can be very harmful to children.
This is just my attempt to articulate what my reaction is to this whole issue. I’m not saying anyone is saying any of these things, or supports these things, but more trying to present what these things would mean from my perspective. As so many of you have done from your own perspective. Which is the whole point of this dialog. For those that have forgotten. I could be wrong and you don’t have to agree. But I am not attacking anyone’s perspective or point of view. I am presenting my own.
Which is CLEARLY not safe to do.