Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Teddy Bear Named Jesus

Boy, it's a good thing we live in the good ol' Ewe-Ess-of-Ayy, where we can name our stuffed toys anything we want, and not worry about getting arrested. Yep, it's good that we don't have governments who impose ridiculous punishments on school teachers because of a high degree of intolerance.

Because this is America, and we don't want the government to do something if we can do it better ourselves:

The parents of a freshman student whose teacher resigned after he gave her a sexually explicit illustrated book said Wednesday their daughter has been the target of harassment from fellow students, and they want the school district to do more to clarify the issue with other parents.

The girl’s father, who asked that his family remain anonymous because it has already been the target of criticism, described the graphic novel that English teacher Nate Fisher gave the student as “borderline pornography.”

Here's the story: A teacher in the Guilford (Ct.) School Disctrict gave his class a reading assignment at the beginning of the school year. One kid decided to not do the assignment. The teacher, trying to come up with something she could read over the weekend (because he didn't want the girl to fail--remember that), grabbed a graphic novel called Eightball #22, by Roger Clowes. The book, while adult in nature, was not really sexually explicit, although it did have sexual references in it.

The father of the girl (who, remember didn't think it was important to do the original assignment) complained to the school district, who, immediately, without thought, suspended the teacher, and made it clear to him that he should just go away and never come back. The local paper made sure to play up the salaciousness of the story (without, apparently, actually reading the comic). According to the New Haven Advocate:

Register reporter Rachael Scarborough King shorthanded Clowes’ complexities by reporting that the comic “includes references to rape, various sex acts and murder, as well as images of a naked woman, and a peeping tom watching a woman in the shower.” Shocking stuff—though the sex and bloodshed aren’t in fact depicted, just talked about, and the nudity is part of a poignant and decidedly non-titillating scene in which a sensitive young woman is afraid her lover will leave her because of an unsightly birthmark. In any case, graphic acts of sex, murder and voyeurism can be found in countless classic works of literature, by such acclaimed writers as Charles Bukowski, Truman Capote, Allen Ginsberg, Ayn Rand, Leo Tolstoy, Gore Vidal, Nick Hornby, Theodore Dreiser, Sam Shepard, Alice Walker, Cormac McCarthy, Jack Kerouac, D.H. Lawrence, John Cheever, Thomas Hardy and Sylvia Plath.

All those writers, as it happens, appear on the official list of 2007 Summer Reading suggestions presented to students by the Guilford High School English department. So do disgraced sex-and-drugs-addled memoirist Augustyn Burroughs and bestselling erotic mystery novelist Janet Evanovich, most of whose books have a hot sex scene within the first few pages. It’s an enlightened, engrossing, wide-ranging list that might actually attract more young people to read.

This was a guy who, rather than let a student fail, gave her a second chance and grabbed something she thought she could read over the weekend. In other words, a caring teacher. And we can't have that. Next thing you know, he might bring a teddy bear named Jesus to class.



Blogger terry said...

wow. just... wow. i have no words.

12:45 AM  
Blogger GC said...

she apparently wanted to fail
maybe now he wishes he'd let her

3:12 PM  
Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

People forget that we have a very strong and active Taliban right here in the good ole U.S. of A.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Timmy said...

i'd say "unbelieveable" but it aint.

7:12 AM  

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