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. The dictionaries were initially purchased a few years ago for fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms districtwide, according to a memo to the superintendent.
“It’s just not age appropriate,” said Cadmus, adding that this is the first time a book has been removed from classrooms throughout the district. “It’s hard to sit and read the dictionary, but we’ll be looking to find other things of a graphic nature,” Cadmus said. She explained that other dictionary entries defining human anatomy would probably not be cause for alarm.
Really, I’m almost at a loss for words. One nutjob parent complains, which leads to dictionaries being pulled out of an entire school district? The English teachers must be freaking. I bet that this same parent lets their children be exposed to violent movies and video games. Sure, let them shoot up hundreds of innocent civilians in an airport alongside Russian terrorists in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (no seriously, watch it uncut right here – I know dozens, literally dozens of fifth graders that play this game), but seeing the definition of oral sex, a normal sexual practice that they are going to learn about one way or another anyway? What an outrage! Call of Duty makes them patriots, not have oral sex!
Thankfully, there are some parents who are not completely out of their mind and are pissed about this nonsense:
“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.”
I’m sure that the dictionaries will be returned to their rightful place in the schools, but the fact that this ever had to happen in the first place is unbelievable. I’m not really sure what more can be said about this situation, besides that it is absolutely one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. That’s all I have to say about that.