To speak or not to speak...that is the question
"My name is XXXXXXXX, I am a Douglas County parent of three middle schoolers.
I am here this evening to bring to your attention a book called Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson that will be used in an upcoming unit in my 13 year old's Language Arts class. This book is about a high school girl's emotional turmoil after being raped by a classmate. This book has many references to drugs, alcohol, suicide and sex.
After bringing my concern to my student's teacher, I commend her recognizing my concerns and for giving us the opportunity to an alternative assignment.
My concern is that we were told that this was a district approved book.
According to the American Library Association, this book is #60 on the top 100 banned books list between 2000-2009. It has also been reviewed as being "soft porn".
I beg you this evening to please open up the opportunity to review this book for our middle schoolers. Sadly, the young children in our community are already dealing with this as reality.
Please ask yourselves, is a classroom of 12 and 13 year old children the right environment for this?"
At the age of 12 and 13 years old, our boys are going through puberty and changing. Their bodies are starting to spin out of control, and generally speaking they are coming out of innocent surroundings, getting ready for the complete unknown. The rape scenes in this book gives these boys a visual of how to take complete advantage of a girl. For the most part, these boys really do not have any idea that they could be capable of this, but this book tells them exactly how they can take advantage of a girl, and get away with it. There is reason to be concerned for our innocent 12 and 13 year old boys and girls being exposed to these actions and then having to sit in a classroom setting and interact with each other having these thoughts instilled in their heads. It is disappointing to see adults who are in a position of trust put our children in this kind of situation in the name of education and helping others.
Parents are moving forward and formally requesting a public complaint of this book with the school district.