Censorious Parent Calls Cops On Teen Giving Away Books In A Local Park

from the protect,-serve-and-enforce-personal-beliefs? dept

Here’s where moral panic meets police state… and fortunately, in this case, one of the two involved parties actually showed some common sense.

Here’s the short version:

A teenager giving away free books at a book giveaway event at a local park has the cops called on her by a local citizen.

After about an hour of Kissel passing out books to teenagers, Meridian police showed up. They said they had been called out by someone concerned about teenagers picking up a copy of the book without having a parent’s permission.

Not sure why that’s a police matter rather than, say, a parental matter, but that’s the way these things go. If anything, the parent involved probably picked up the “let law enforcement handle everything” attitude from educators, who seem to have relinquished the duties of the principal’s office to armed law enforcement officers.

To their credit, the police arrived, checked everything out, and left.

So, why would a parent find giving away a book to be a police matter? Well, that’s the longer story.

Junior Mountain View High school student Brady Kissel showed up at Kleiner park in Meridian to pass out the book parents are complaining about. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Some parents believe the book is not appropriate for 10th graders. Others who showed up said they had no problem with their teenager reading it.

The book was taken off the Meridian School Districts reading list and is under review. It is still on the shelves in school libraries.

Some Meridian parents objected to the sexual content in the book. Others say the book is anti-Christian. Some readers say they’ve seen worse.

Parents have tried to ban Alexie’s book because of some very dangerous words that should apparently never be viewed by 10th graders. According to the student passing out the book, the “sexual content” of the book is almost wholly contained within the following sentence.

Kissel says, “There’s a paragraph right here where it has some sexual content. But if you look at it it’s a paragraph this big in a 230 page book.” That page reads ‘If God hadn’t wanted us to masturbate, then God wouldn’t have given us thumbs.”

It’s a good thing the citizen stepped up, or 10th graders might know what masturbation is. It wasn’t just one citizen, however. It was several. Meridian, Idaho’s school board voted 2-1 to ban the book, which was apparently all the justification needed to send cops after a teen giving away copies of the forbidden novel. One local idiot offered his opinion as to why the book just needed to go away.

[A]n adult named Lonnie Stiles complained that the Alexie novel contains language “we do not speak in our home.”

Ah. I see. So “not in your home” should mean “not in any home.” Stiles is listed as an adult in this article but his behavior (along with a number of Meridian’s citizens) sounds dangerously childish. If Stiles doesn’t want his kid to read this “offensive” book, he should do all he can to prevent his, and only his, children from doing so. What he shouldn’t do is allow his personal squeamishness towards certain words and subject matter to become school policy.

So, once again, it’s the kids who are acting more mature than the adults. Somehow, they feel that banning the book would make it less likely to end up in teenagers’ hands, an idea that is clearly refuted by the whole of teenage existence since human life began.

Kissel’s decision to hand out 350 copies of a banned book was a statement against this small-minded board decision. 350 students signed a petition asking for a reversal, which was ignored. In response, these students were provided with their own copy, showing just how easy it is to route around censorship. As noted earlier, the book has only vanished from the school’s library. It’s still available at the public library, so all the outrage expended was entirely useless — like it almost always is.

But this one went a bit further, with a parent apparently believing that the cops are there to enforce stupid school policies outside of school and uphold his or her “not on my bookshelf” morality. Ridiculous.

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Comments on “Censorious Parent Calls Cops On Teen Giving Away Books In A Local Park”

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167 Comments
ottermatonsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

” … and other liberals.” WTF?!?!

Thanks for proving what a partisan shithead you are. Thinking (you must have missed that part of your “education”) people realize there’s no difference between the parties these days. They’re just there to prop up frothing loonies. Like yourself.

ottermatonsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Pretty sure that was a joke, Mr. Tension.”

Really? Can you point out the funny part of it to me? I sure don’t see it.

Maybe you could make it case for it being sarcasm, but even that would be a stretch.

Maybe you should go back to minding your own business, Mr. (incorrectly applied) Condescension.

Dave Xanatossays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

/sigh

In this case, the humor was hyperbolic: Comic presentation marked by extravagant exaggeration and outsized characterization. Specifically it was exaggerating the viewpoint of the ‘typical conservative nutjob’ by conflating the preceding two groups (terrorists and child pornographers), with the third (liberals).

You could also view it as an inversion of a popular trope, which is usually invoked by naming ordinary things in the same list as a horrible one. Example from The Princess Bride:

Prince Humperdinck: Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I’ve got my country’s 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I’m swamped.

Now, even with (or perhaps because of) this explanation, you still might not find the humor in it. That’s ok. Not everyone is born with a sense of humor. But with time and hard work, you can fake one very convincingly.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Now, even with (or perhaps because of) this explanation, you still might not find the humor in it. That’s ok. Not everyone is born with a sense of humor.

One man’s humour is another man’s cringe. What is funny to one group can be quite offensive to another and vice versa. Years ago, I realised that humour is based on culture, age, sex, race and religious belief. What is found funny or humorous to one can completely fall flat for another. This ultimately says nothing about the quality of the humour, whether it be good, bad or indifferent.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

I get the joke, but in all seriousness… that type of rhetoric is absolutely stupid.

Same can be said about anything.

If God did not want us to murder, rape, and pillage He would not allow us to WAR!

Stupid Stupid Stupid… I would read this book with my child and help them understand how stupid the author is and answer any questions they had.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Have not read the book, while it would still be possible that the author would have some insights they would be consistently overshadowed by the the line…

‘If God hadn’t wanted us to masturbate, then God wouldn’t have given us thumbs.’

There is a limit to how much stupidity people can utter before I ‘automatically’ consider that whatever else they may have to say is not worth listening too. This line qualifies. I would be willing to alter my stance should it be discovered that this line was misrepresented, but it is hard to see how it could be in this context.

I personally do not believe anyone is going to hell for slapping their salami, but just having thumbs is not justification for God wanting us to do it.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

It is almost certain that the line was misrepresented, because it wasn’t really represented at all. It could have been a quote from someone else for all we know from this article. If you take everything you read in every book as literally the personal opinion of the author you aren’t reading critically.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

So I went to Google Books to see the context. (Wow, that’s convenient for getting the context of a line from a book.) It’s not just that one line, he talks about this topic for most of a page, and it’s in the main narration, not from a side character or something.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I didn’t look up the context because it doesn’t actually matter to me. It’s a work of fiction. The OP’s original statement was that the statement was the personal opinion of the author, which they can’t possibly know.

Sure, the idea is stupid, but teaching your child that stupid ideas in fiction novels means the author is stupid isn’t a great idea. That was my only point.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

The OP’s original statement was that the statement was the personal opinion of the author, which they can’t possibly know.

The name of the book is “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”. Someone who hasn’t read the book can be forgiven for assuming that anything said by the narrator is the opinion of the author. Yes, I know it’s a work of fiction, but that’s not apparent from the title.

Plus that’s not the sort of thing you say in a book if you hold the opposite view.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

“…”The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”. Someone who hasn’t read the book can be forgiven for assuming that anything said by the narrator is the opinion of the author. Yes, I know it’s a work of fiction, but that’s not apparent from the title.”

Only not apparent from the title if you pre-suppose that Part-Time Indians exist. In reality that’s probably a hint that the whole thing is fiction.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Only not apparent from the title if you pre-suppose that Part-Time Indians exist. In reality that’s probably a hint that the whole thing is fiction.

Now that’s just silly. Titles often have hyperbole; if he spent part of his time off the reservation and part on it, that would inspire such a title. There could just as easily have been an autobiography with that title as a fiction work. And the author obviously MEANT for the title to look like the main character wrote it.

Also, if you look at Wikipedia, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is semi-autobiographical. The novel started as a section of Sherman Alexie’s family memoir, but after the persistence of a Young Adult editor he decided to use it as a basis for his first Young Adult novel. Sherman Alexie states that, ‘If I were to guess at the percentage, it would be about seventy-eight percent true’.” So even knowing it’s fiction, it’s not out of line to think the author holds the views of the main character. For all practical purposes he IS the main character.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

In my defense, I indicated that I would have no problem revising my opinion if the line was taken out of context.

I am up for a good joke just as much as the next time. If the offended people would take a moment to calm down, I never said that I would never read the book and even admitted that the author may have other valuable insights, but it seems everyone just focused on the part that was most offensive to them and ignored the rest of the qualifiers.

G Thompsonsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

There is a limit to how much stupidity people can utter before I ‘automatically’ consider that whatever else they may have to say is not worth listening too.

Very true.. and for you making your whole thread on the justification that stating that somehow your diety (God) would not like it and would never of done it just for that purpose means that I have automatically come to a conclusion that YOU are absolutely NOT WORTH LISTENING TO!

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

“…and would never of done it just for that purpose means that I have automatically come to a conclusion that YOU are absolutely NOT WORTH LISTENING TO…”

Argghhhh !! Arghhhh !! Arghhhhh !!!

Incorrect usage – “would of” should be “would have” and the correct usage was in the DOGGONE quote from the DOGGONE subject of this article (namely “..then God wouldn’t have given us thumbs..”).

AND you’re not listening to him and never were – you’re READING his comments.

After all, we are discussing literature.

I feel better now.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Where did I make any such claim? Maybe you should consider brushing up on your reading comprehension skillzzz.

I only made the claim that stating that “God approved of something because you had thumbs” was stupid. I made no comment what-so-ever on whether God approved or disapproved.

Care to try again champ?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

A little off topic but…

I think the biggest misunderstanding most people have about God, if you happen to believe in him, is that he has a purpose for each of us. A plan, if you will.

You can’t have it both ways. Either we have Free Will, or God/Destiny/Fate are controlling our lives, picking winners and losers.

The natural extension of relinquishing your Free Will to something you don’t understand, like God, is that soon you start blaming anyone but yourself for all the ills in your life. “I beat my child incessantly because I was abused as a child.” “I steal because the Man is keeping me down, it’s his fault.”

We need to start owning our actions/thoughts/words. They are the only thing we can truly control in this world. Don’t let someone or some abstract idea, like religion, take those away from you. You are where you are at in life solely based on your actions and responses to the events and situations that occurred in your life. There is no one to blame or take credit but you.

I think that if more people thought like this, there would be a lot less moral outrage about things as silly as some words in a book and parents might begin to see that it’s their job, not Society’s, to raise their children.

G Thompsonsays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I think that Heinlien stated it best (via Lazarus Long):

The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.

The second most preposterous notion is that copulation and masturbation is inherently sinful.

Chris-Mousesays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

That would depend on how that line is handled in the story. Is it something said by the protagonist? Is it said by another character? If so, does the protagonist approve or disapprove of the remark?

As it happens, I have the book, so I looked it up. The entire issue is dealt with in 145 words. That’s about half a page in a 250 page book. It’s not erotic, or even suggestive. Its dealt with as “This is a fact, live with it” and then the story line moves on.
The protagonist is a starting high school student. By that point in their lives, pretty much every teenager has experimented with masturbation, and any parent that thinks they are keeping their kids from learning about it is living in a dream world. A dream world that has a very good chance of turning into a nightmare for the kids.

ltlw0lfsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

help them understand how stupid the author is and answer any questions they had.

A fictional character’s statement in a book of fiction somehow tells you the intelligence of the author?

Authors don’t necessarily agree with the ideas or actions of characters in their books. Often times, characters are based on amalgams of people in the author’s life. Most authors I’ve heard talk about the process of writing is that their characters tend to write themselves (though in reality, it is the author writing the character, the character may be based on their observations of others and even a character based on some opposite of their own experiences.) I’ve heard authors complain about their characters and there are some authors that have been very vocal about their hatred for some of their characters. One author told me he relished in killing some of his characters off during the writing of a book just because he hated them so much.

Anyone who looks at a fictional book and makes comments about the author’s intelligence based on a character in their book (and not on things like language, communication skills, etc.) is only showing their own intelligence.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It’s actually a very good book (it won the National Book Award), and the author is one of the most engaging, intelligent, and hilarious speakers around.

You are right, of course, that the sentence in question does not hold logical water, but only a blockhead would take it to be an attempt at a logical theorem, rather than a humorous quip.

mcinsandsays:

Re: I don't think it's Christianity or any form of Puritanism

I really think that this is one or several forms of cowardice masquerading as a religious conviction. Parents have a duty to educate children about life, and sex is part of life. We would not be here without sex. For whatever reason, some parents turn into spineless cowards when it comes to tackling these awkward discussions, and they delude themselves into thinking that there is an actual moral basis for neglecting their obligations to the child. Sure, the discussion might be awkward, but the consequences are far worse. I know several people that are still dealing with issues rooted in parents that were too spineless to discuss touchy realities (some pun intended).

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: I don't think it's Christianity or any form of Puritanism

I was brought up as a christian – the subject was discussed frankly and as completely as was possible.

I am now a Christian and I have likewise brought up my children in the same light. Sex is a part of who we are, it has a right and proper place. In its place, it is a profound, blow your mind, over the moon experience and bonding. Not in its place, it becomes a basic drag on life – I have spoken to too many people where this is the case. YMMV.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

I was pretty sheltered as a child and turned out just fine. Turning children into adults at an early age by placing the weight of the world on their shoulders before they are mature enough to handle it is a far worse fate for the children. Children should be allowed to be children, if only for a while.

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“I was pretty sheltered as a child and turned out just fine”

Maybe you have, but two points: because it worked for you doesn’t speak to whether or not it works for other people or is good general practice. Also, we can’t really determine for ourselves if we “turned out just fine.” We don’t have the required detachment needed to make that call. It’s a bit like proclaiming yourself beautiful or brilliant.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Do you have children?

Do you have children? If you do, do you protect them until they have been trained in maturity to handle what the world will throw at them?

To often, instead of allowing children to be children and training them to maturity, they are just thrown to the wolves (whatever figurative wolf you want). There are times for “sink or swim” and there are times for gentle leading, there are times for discipline and there are times for soft words.

This world is harsh and getting harsher. It behooves those of us who have the next generation in our care to carefully consider their developing maturity and guide it appropriately that those who follow us will think with consideration for their actions and the roll-on effects that will have.

David Poolesays:

Oh, good. Idaho in national news again.

The book banning has been news here in Boise (right next to Meridian). I’m happy the police involved did a good job.

So annoying Idaho manages to make national news for stupid reasons again.

Kudos to Rediscovered Books http://www.rdbooks.org/ for helping fund the giveaway.

http://www.ktvb.com/home/Grass-root-effort-buys-copies-of-challenged-book-for-students-256286351.html

Marksays:

Streisand Effect in Real Life

This is just the Streisand effect happening in real life.

What better way to get kids to read a book you want read. Ban the book and then call the cops when they try to give it away. Makes the kids think we have to read this book, if the parents hate it that much.

And A+ to publisher for donating a further 350 copies after this event, with the original 350 copies having been purchased from donation money.

Anonymoussays:

I'll argue the other side

Ah. I see. So “not in your home” should mean “not in any home.” Stiles is listed as an adult in this article but his behavior (along with a number of Meridian’s citizens) sounds dangerously childish. If Stiles doesn’t want his kid to read this “offensive” book, he should do all he can to prevent his, and only his, children from doing so. What he shouldn’t do is allow his personal squeamishness towards certain words and subject matter to become school policy.

This is referring to the removal of the book from the curriculum, not to calling the police on kids distributing it which was obviously ridiculous.

If I were to reverse your statement: “If you want your kid to read this ‘nonoffensive’ book, you should do all you can to allow your, and only your, children to do so. What you shouldn’t do is allow your personal preference towards certain words and subject matter to become school policy.” I think that statement is about as equally silly as yours. There is absolutely no reason why parents should not be able to express their concerns to the school board one way or the other. And there is no reason why the school board can’t change the book if enough parents object.

Are you expecting the teacher to have to teach one book for the parents that don’t object and another for those that do? Won’t the entire class get a better education if they can go through a book together? It’s not like there’s a shortage of books out there that they can use.

Somehow, they feel that banning the book would make it less likely to end up in teenagers’ hands, an idea that is clearly refuted by the whole of teenage existence since human life began.

Rhetoric aside, I think a teen is more likely to read a book assigned for homework than a book not assigned for homework. Yes, those interested can just go to the public library; but unless there’s actually a weird organized protest where they check out the book one after the other, most of them won’t. And even if there IS an organized protest, if hundreds of kids try to take out one or two copies they won’t all be able to read it by the end of the year. Most kids can’t read a 230 page book in one sitting.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

Considering the mindless dreck that made up so much of the assigned reading from middle-school English[0], and the general reaction to them from even the good students, I think that assigning a book for homework is the bed way to ensure that they don’t actually read it and instead just skim though looking for things that look relevant to the assignment.

[0] Apart from Shakespeare[1], the rest of the assigned texts were “teen” novels which has only helped my appreciation of literature by demonstrating that Twilight is just another turd in a septic tank.

[1] He gets a pass because (a) his plays are mostly reasonably well-written and (b) so many other authors assume familiarity with them.

Just Another Anonymous Trollsays:

Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

You sir are a terrible debater. The whole point of the statement you reversed (read: butchered) was that you should focus on YOUR children and not try to control everyone because you don’t like a book. Actually reversing the statement would read: “If you want your children to read this nonoffensive book, you should do everything you can to allow everyone to read it”. Please remember in the future to reverse everything, not just the parts that help you.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

The whole point of the statement you reversed (read: butchered) was that you should focus on YOUR children and not try to control everyone because you don’t like a book.

Yes, that did seem to be his point. Which is why I reversed it in that manner – to show that he was doing that very thing himself. He doesn’t just want to “allow” them to have the opportunity to read it – they still have that; the book is in the public library. He wants it to be part of the curriculum, which means that he wants other people’s kids to read it.

art guerrillasays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

sigh okay, i’ll give it a try…

IF this were actually a rational world, and there were probative (oh for fucks sake: probative is a fucking word, PLEASE, techdirtia, ditch your idiotic spel czech which is CONSTANTLY flagging real, common words) and reasonable process which took into consideration parent’s recommendations (or denouncements) of books/teaching materials in an open and fair-minded manner, THEN there would be SOME validity to your charges…

such a system does NOT presently exist…

the system which exists is: 1 or more -generally- CONSERVATARD and/or fundie xtain parents scream bloody murder about some book/factoid (that -in all likelihood- they have never read or understood), and said book/factoid is NOT TAUGHT simply to avoid the ginned up ‘controversy’, NOT BECAUSE their complaints have any actual validity…
THAT is what ACTUALLY happens…

not some sort of reasoned debate that INCLUDES ALL PARENTS OF ALL VIEWS, but a couple loudmouth, butthurt fundie assmunchers who steamroll the schools to capitulate to their demands…
because it is easier to go that route, NOT because it is the ‘right thing to do’…

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

Please note that we are not talking about facts. We are talking about literature. There are so many good books out there. Why insist on teaching one that parents object to, no matter what their reason is?

not some sort of reasoned debate that INCLUDES ALL PARENTS OF ALL VIEWS, but a couple loudmouth, butthurt fundie assmunchers who steamroll the schools to capitulate to their demands…

Namecalling aside, this was not “a couple” of complainers. In this case the school board heard from over 100 people, most (but not all) of them against the book.

Also. The book is still on the shelf in the SCHOOL library. The book is not “banned” in any meaningful sense of the word. The students will simply not be assigned the book.

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

“Why insist on teaching one that parents object to, no matter what their reason is?”

Maybe because censorship should always be opposed. This is a case of some parents wanting to prohibit the use of materials for all children, not just their own.

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

Nice dodge! In what way is such a book comparable to this one?

In any case, I’ll answer: it all depends on the book. There are plenty of books that contain passages that disparage minorities of various sorts (usually black) that I think belong in the classroom nonetheless.

In the end, it’s up to the school. What I object to is an extremist minority being able to shape the curriculum for everyone. If most parents object to a book, I can understand omitting it from the formal curriculum (but perhaps add it to a “recommended reading” list, depending.)

But in this case, the real egregious action is the parent wanting to prohibit distribution of the book outside of the classroom. To the extent that the cops were called. That’s the level of censorship that should always be opposed, even if they were distributing something like neo-Nazi literature.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

But in this case, the real egregious action is the parent wanting to prohibit distribution of the book outside of the classroom. To the extent that the cops were called. That’s the level of censorship that should always be opposed, even if they were distributing something like neo-Nazi literature.

And there I will agree with you. It’s OK not not want your kids to read a particular book; it’s not OK to call the police because someone is giving away that book.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

In what way is such a book comparable to this one?

Parents were complaining that it was anti-Christian. (And not just because of that single quote.) I think a complaint that a book disparages a religion deserves as much scrutiny as a complaint that a book disparages an ethnic group.

In any case, I’ll answer: it all depends on the book.

I agree. It’s a judgement call on a case-by-case basis.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:8 Ethnicity?

Sorry, you are ignorant. Here in this land, you can choose to be of aboriginal descent and claim an ethnicity in which you have little actual amount.

There are various people who are brave enough to claim all their various ethnicities and they are reviled for betraying “the cause”.

I am an indigenous Australian, I was born here, as where my parents and grandparents. My ethnicity is Australian, Scottish, Irish, Norwegian, English and a smattering of others (no doubt), but I am Australian. There is no place like Australia, the land beats in my blood and my heritage is here. I have friends whose ethnicity is as varied as mine and we are all Australians. This land is in our blood and we belong here, no matter if our ancestors were here for 20 generations or none. Who cares what your race is? If you belong, you belong – it is a choice.

If you want to argue about my indigenousness, go argue with a old full-blood aboriginal elder who goes around to his local primary schools teaching the children that if they were born here then they are indigenous to here. Mind you that does get right up the noses of all the partial-blooded aboriginal radical activists.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

(oh for fucks sake: probative is a fucking word, PLEASE, techdirtia, ditch your idiotic spel czech which is It is your browser using a local dictionary that does the spell checking, or at least it is with Firefox; and I can ad words to the dictionary from the spell check menu.

JP Jonessays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

ditch your idiotic spel czech which is It is your browser using a local dictionary that does the spell checking

This section almost gave me a concussion due to the force of my face palm. I demand medical compensation for injuries sustained.

On second thought, just keep the two cents to yourself. It’s better for everyone. Thanks.

Michael Costanzasays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: I'll argue the other side

(oh for fucks sake: probative is a fucking word, PLEASE, techdirtia, ditch your idiotic spel czech which is CONSTANTLY flagging real, common words)

We don’t have a built-in spellchecker in the comment form. It’s your browser. Right-click the underlined word and “Add to Dictionary”.

Trevorsays:

Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

Anonymous Coward, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

Thank you for your insightful review of my post. Perhaps you could explain my errors?

Do you think that no parent should ever be able to object to the curriculum? Do you think the school board should not listen when many parents object to a particular book? Do you think the teacher should have to assign two books, one for the objectors and one for the ones who didn’t object, and split the class while it’s being discussed? Or do you think those kids should just be forced to read the book or fail?

Vsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

Why insist on teaching one that parents object to, no matter what their reason is?

Because it would be a very short time before there would be nothing left to teach. Some of most ridiculous banned/challenged books for example:

http://www.11points.com/Books/11_Most_Ironically_Banned_Books_Of_All_Time
http://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/banned-books-you-read-as-a-child

If by some miracle you found a book that offended NO ONE, the kids would never read it because it was so boring.

Do you think the teacher should have to assign two books, one for the objectors and one for the ones who didn’t object, and split the class while it’s being discussed?

Many schools do this already. It is standard at many schools to have an alternate book prepared, especially for books that are known to be controversial. My son and one other student read the alternate book one year and there were no issues.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

But the parents here aren’t objecting to every book, just this one. “The list also includes ?The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? by Mark Twain and ?Grapes of Wrath? by John Steinbeck, both books that have drawn criticism and faced challenges across the country in the past.” http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/04/02/3114247/the-absolutely-true-story-of-what.html

Point taken that they probably could have kept the book. What I didn’t realize is that it was on the supplementary list; no teacher had to choose it for their class. If they did choose it knowing it was controversial, then it would be their own fault if they had to do extra work because some parents would insist their child read something else instead.

Vsays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

But the parents here aren’t objecting to every book, just this one.

Yes, THESE parents are objecting to THIS book THIS TIME. However, censorship is a slippery slope. What happens tomorrow or next week, or next year when Perks of Being a Wallflower or Judy Blume gets challenged?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Censorship - the slippery slope.

Yes, and atheists object to children praying in school or even writing about God in school projects, administrators object to children distributing the constitution in school.

Your nation (like all nations) has a cognitive dissonance about what is free speech and what can be taught. If parents object to a particular subject matter being taught, that is their responsibility and the consequences are theirs as well. Do you really want the governing authorities dictating to you what you teach your children and what they have to learn at school and what you can or cannot teach them? There is a balance to be found – it just needs to be found.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re: Re: Censorship - the slippery slope.

Your citations:

http://www.charismanews.com/us/43444-boy-told-to-put-away-his-bible-starts-reciting-the-first-amendent

http://www.charismanews.com/us/43349-lunchroom-supervisor-rebukes-5-year-old-for-praying-over-meal

http://www.mychristiandaily.com/index.php/uk/163-world/usa-canada/news-item-2-usa-canada/9988-child-s-paper-citing-jesus-as-her-hero-rejected-by-teacher

Bovine excrement indeed. Your country does have a cognitive dissonance.

Dark Helmetsays:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re: Re: Re: Censorship - the slippery slope.

Response to your citations in order:

1st citation: I stand corrected; indeed, some secularists are complete idiots and that story is abhorrent. I will note, however, that the religious woman with her religious son turned to the secular ACLU to defend themselves against what was clearly an idiotic school system. Either way, the story is one of a secularist incorrectly applying the theory of secularism, so you got that one.

2nd citation: The family, which works with a Christian publishing firm, insists the word of their 5 year old is gold despite there not being a SINGLE OTHER WITNESS to any of this? Sorry, that one doesn’t pass the smell test, especially since the school already noted that they don’t have any policy against prayer in the lunch room. That one’s a nothing….http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/florida-girl-claims-stopped-praying-lunch-article-1.1742858

3rd citation: If your citations can be debunked by Snopes, your citations suck….http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/removejesus.asp

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

“Do you think the teacher should have to assign two books, one for the objectors and one for the ones who didn’t object, and split the class while it’s being discussed?”

I think that in the US this is the best compromise that can be hoped for. It’s a shame that there are so many pearl-clutching parents that this is the case, but that’s the state of things right now.

I do think parents (and legislators) have far too much influence over curriculum, though. In some areas, it’s leading to a real reduction in eduction (“intelligent design” advocates and evolution-opposers, I’m looking at you.)

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

I think that in the US this is the best compromise that can be hoped for.

And after realizing it was only on the supplementary list, I think I actually agree.

I do think parents (and legislators) have far too much influence over curriculum, though. In some areas, it’s leading to a real reduction in eduction (“intelligent design” advocates and evolution-opposers, I’m looking at you.)

Yeah, but imagine if a creationist was in charge of the curriculum via some bureaucratic office and you had no way to get him out. I’m always a bit leery of saying that a particular subject should be extra insulated from voters. It can cut both ways.

Vsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

It’s a shame that there are so many pearl-clutching parents that this is the case, but that’s the state of things right now.

Not all objecting parents are “pearl clutchers”. I had my son read an alternate book when he was assigned the Hunger Games in sixth grade. It was not because of my offended sensibilities (I quite like the book actually). He was going through a rather violent phase and I felt that it was not a good time for him to read that particular book. As you seem opposed to generalizations, I felt the need to point this out.

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

That is why I singled out pearl-clutchers specifically. There can be many legitimate reasons why a parent may not want their child to read a particular book at a particular time. That’s one of the reasons why parents should actually read the stuff sent home to them — which usually includes things like what books the students will be reading. Then if there’s a problem about a particular book for a particular child, other arrangements can be made.

That’s a totally different thing than wanting to alter the curriculum for all students.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

“Do you think the teacher should have to assign two books, one for the objectors and one for the ones who didn’t object, and split the class while it’s being discussed?”

That is a quick way of reducing a school to anarchy, as it does not matter what books are chosen, someone will object and the next thing you know each child is reading a different book, and cannot discuss it with other children. A better answer is if the parent objects strongly then they take full responsibility for educating their children at home, complete with mandatory inspections.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'll argue the other side

When I was in middle school (or rather, the equivalents in a couple of different systems), we had to read and study three books each year: one was “literature” (Shakespeare, To Kill a Mockingbird, etc.), one was some drivelling “young adult” novel (Jaquelline Wilson (i forget the title), Hatchet, Holes, etc.), and the other was a free-choice subject to veto by the teacher.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Curriculum choices.

Who do you think should have influence on curriculum choices, since “evolutionary theory” is just as much a religious belief system as anything else. As has been said before elsewhere, the evidence for “evolutionary theory” is lacking in so many ways, it is not funny. I was one who believed but studying the research presented leads me to discount it with great scepticism. It is interesting that “intelligent design” is a model that has been proposed by scientists in the relevant fields of study yet is treated as a religious belief. “Evolutionary theory” is no less a religious belief.

If those who propagate the “evolutionary theory” model were actually intellectually honest, they would not be declaring it as “science”. But, people are people, no matter their occupation and people have their agendas and belief systems that they wish to propagate.

There are many areas that the “scientific method” and hence “science” has no current applicability. It is also interesting to note that science philosophers on both sides are increasingly coming out against “scientism” (the religion of science).

G Thompsonsays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Curriculum choices.

Are you a complete idiot or are parts missing?

WTF are you on about??/

Firstly I suspect you really need to understand the difference between religion and scientific method. One is based on unsubstantiated faith about a supernatural powerful omnipresent entity(s).

The other is based on observable IN YOUR FACE results.

There is No ‘faith’ in science. It either is or it isn’t.. it’s either observable based on reasonable and producable results or isn’t.

Religions on the other hand are based on power, ego, and Invisible entities that will make you suffer if you do not do what the minority in control of that creed want.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Curriculum choices.

Have you done an extensive study of the results proposed, or examined the model (of evolutionary theory) in question? If not, then go off and do so. It is a hypothesis which from the evidence found does not stand up to the light of day as science. It is however, very much a religious based model – I challenge you to fully study it.

Do you actually understand what religious belief is? I somehow don’t think so. Religious belief does not require a supernatural powerful omnipresent entity(s). Do you understand the “scientific method”? Again, you have not so demonstrated this.

Science is done by people and if you actually took the time to review that salient point, you would understand that there is much “faith” exhibited by various sections of the “scientific” community.

I have been trained in the “scientific method” and there is much that is purported to be “science” which is not. It annoys me greatly when those who have a particular agenda (of all kinds) to push, try to subvert science and the scientific method to support their point of view. All this ends up doing is holding back our understanding of the universe around us.

The current scientific community (like its predecessors) is based on power, ego, and other things that will make you suffer if you do not do what the minority in control of that creed want. For an example of this look at astrophysics and the string and non-string theories communities and the conflicts that are there and the control of research, funding, publication etc.

G Thompsonsays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Curriculum choices.

okay then…

and reading above I see you too are an Aussie..

hmmmm.. so let me guess part of Hillsong? or another Charismatic creed? One of those people who think the High Court challenge next week about Chaplains in Schools should NEVER be removed and how dare the courts decide whats best for our kids (I’ll let you guess who’s side I’m on) or an anti-vaxxer? Or are you someone who came on here .. saw the “god” reference in the article and had to troll/witness

As for my understanding of Religious beliefs and scientific methods, maybe you should look at my profile to understand that Forensics is the absolute practical application of the scientific method and determining what is instead of what isn’t (like gods etc). As for controversy within the scientific community regarding Quantum Physics and its many strange flavours and spin (pun intended) some place upon it, so what? that happens in all HUMAN endeavours and has throughout history. That still doesn’t explain the major absolute difference that is Science vs Mythos/Faith.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re: Re: Re: Re: Curriculum choices.

Why would I want to be a part of Hillsong? Whether or not Chaplains in Schools remains or not is not a question I worry about. They will stay where they are effective and they will be gone where they are not.

The courts sometimes get it right with relation to kids and other times they get it very wrong. As far as DHS is concerned, I would not trust them as far as I can spit into the wind. If they are involved in any court case, you can almost bet on the kids getting the worst end of the stick if the side DHS supports wins.

As far as vaccinations are concerned, that is up to the individuals. My kids have been vaccinated as have my grandkids. I have come across medical personal who won’t get vaccinated and others that will. So it’s a choice.

Forensics – you mean that pseudo-scientific process that sometimes gets it right and sometimes gets it wrong. The conflicts and controversies within the scientific community are at the level of religious and political wars.

You miss the point that there are many areas of science where dogma rules and if you are of an opposing camp you become persona non grata, a heretic or even know nothing fool. I have given up on so many science blogs and science news services because of the dogmatic attacks that occur on those who raise questions, information, tests, hypotheses, etc against the prevailing mindset or models adhered to by those sites. The word scientism has arisen because of the rise of faith in and the belief that science gives rise to “truth”. This is the domain of religion.

It is always refreshing to see new tests and experiments being developed to find the limits of current models and the results obtained. But I don’t see this anywhere as often as I would expect or like from a community that is supposed to be using the scientific method.

It is also disappointing when new experiments are proposed that will test the limits and then see these proposed experiments die for lack of support. Part and parcel of the scientific method is to ask questions, devise hypotheses, develop experiments to continually test the limits of our knowledge. Some of these experiments will kill a hypothesis immediately, others will give rise to more development.

We actually know very little about the world around us and yet we have many who declare that science has all the answers (including those who are in the relevant fields themselves). Science is fun.

G Thompsonsays:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Curriculum choices.

You never looked at my profile dd you, otherwise you would of known that calling my area of forensics pseudo-science shows how stupid you look.

Digital Forensics is totally unlike Medical (toxicology or otherwise), ballistics, “blood spatters”, Fingerprints or whatever I normally laugh at on such comedies like CSI on the telly. Unlike the above (and other subsets of Forensics) Digital Forensics is the actual and specific application of PROVEN methodologies & techniques that are not still based on theoretical ideas that might work some of the time.

next time read and understand all you are blathering about because you clearly understand what you think is the scientific method, whereas to everyone else you clearly in reality don’t.!

G Thompsonsays:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Curriculum choices.

Keep thinking that..

Though seeing as though you clean everything (or have been led to believe you do) does this mean you have been intentionally removing nefarious inculpatory evidence that may have been used to show that you have looked for “dwarf BDSM” & even “furry ponies”? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Curriculum choices.

“I have been trained in the “scientific method””

Clearly.

“The current scientific community (like its predecessors) is based on power, ego, and other things that will make you suffer if you do not do what the minority in control of that creed want.”

You also clearly have little experience with scientists or the scientific community.

NoahVailsays:

As a parent I know exactly how to deal with a situation like this.
Do whatever I want.

As nitwittery goes, this isn’t the tip of an iceberg or the 1st drop of an oncoming wave.
It’s an absolutely average example of a subset of parents that have always and will always exist in the %’s they do now.

Getting worked up about people who are having little-to-no long term effect,
is a lot like getting worked about a book that has little-to-no long term effect.

Anonymoussays:

Interesting comments here

Something strikes me as interesting about these comments and what is going on in society as a whole. Some school and parents get upset about a book and don’t want the kids exposed to it. People go crazy and want to give everyone a copy of that book.

Now if that book in school had been a bible, we would be seeing the opposite reaction here. Most of the people would be going crazy to have it removed.

Oh the irony.

Gwizsays:

Re: Re: Interesting comments here

Now if that book in school had been a bible, we would be seeing the opposite reaction here. Most of the people would be going crazy to have it removed.

I’m not sure that’s a true statement.

First off, the books were being given away at a local park, not at school, so the whole separation of church and state wouldn’t apply to this situation. Plenty of people give bibles away to teens and it’s not a problem.

Also, when I was in high school back in the early 80’s my school did have a class (I never took it, but friends did) named “The Bible as Literature” which was the study of the bible not from a religious standpoint, but from a literary standpoint.

John Fendersonsays:

Re: Re: Interesting comments here

“Now if that book in school had been a bible, we would be seeing the opposite reaction here.”

I share GWiz’s perspective on this. We souldn’t be seeing the opposite reaction at all if the circumstances were otherwise identical.

I don’t know many people, religious or not, who would object to the bible being used in a literature class. Used in a science class, yes, but not in a literature (or philosophy, or cultural studies, or religious studies, etc.) class.

Dark Helmetsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Interesting comments here

As someone who is firmly in the secular camp, let me make this clear to both sides: you can’t have a proper course on human history and/or literature if you don’t study the bible, as well as other religious texts.

Secularists should not only not have a problem with the bible being used as a literary example, they should be encouraging it….

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Interesting comments here

Or science. The bible knew the earth was round long, long before anyone else did. You don’t get a dividing line between night and day on a flat surface, but you do on a three-dimensional one such as a sphere.

Job 26:10 (written around 2,000 BC) “He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.”

Seems the writer of Job knew that the earth hung in space on nothing.

Job 26:7 “He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing.”

There are a few other references as well. But since a bible isn’t allowed within a 1,000 feet of most schools these days, most people don’t know this.

In fact, it would be terrible for children to be taught to love their neighbor, not steal, not to commit adultery and so on. If they were taught these things, they might actually live up to those teachings and what kind of world would this be if that happened?

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: Interesting comments here

Hey, you’re right, I mean, the bible even mentions the pillars that the earth rests upon, and us puny humans only learned about that last year, obviously the book must be scientific!

(Samuel 2:8)He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and he hath set the world upon them.

And lets not forget the bible’s revolutionary cure for leprosy, which can be summed as up follows:

‘God’s law for lepers: Get two birds. Kill one. Dip the live bird in the blood of the dead one. Sprinkle the blood on the leper seven times, and then let the blood-soaked bird fly away. Next find a lamb and kill it. Wipe some of its blood on the patient’s right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle seven times with oil and wipe some of the oil on his right ear, thumb and big toe. Repeat. Finally find another pair of birds. Kill one and dip the live bird in the dead bird’s blood. Wipe some blood on the patient’s right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle the house with blood 7 times. That’s all there is to it.’

Leviticus 14:2-52

Oh yes, very scientific.

There are a few other references as well. But since a bible isn’t allowed within a 1,000 feet of most schools these days, most people don’t know this.

Probably because the bible has nothing to do with science, and schools have nothing to do with pushing religion(any of them). ‘God did it’ isn’t even close to scientific, and has nothing to do with the scientific method, which requires provable, testable evidence, and seeks to explain not only the ‘what’s, but the ‘how’s of how the world works, something the bible fails pretty bad at.

In fact, it would be terrible for children to be taught to love their neighbor, not steal, not to commit adultery and so on.

None of which require the bible(or any other religious book), so don’t see what the problem is not involving it/them in schools.

Dark Helmetsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: Interesting comments here

“Or science.”

Yeah….no. The bible has no place in the science classroom. It is an unscientific book by its own admission, so no.

“In fact, it would be terrible for children to be taught to love their neighbor….”

Unless that neighbor was one of those pesky folks God told them to smite….

“not steal”

Unless we’re talking about the land of those recently smoted….

“not to commit adultery”

Unless it’s with one of those bitches from the tribe God wanted the Israelite to breed out of existence….

“If they were taught these things, they might actually live up to those teachings and what kind of world would this be if that happened?”

Judging by teachings of the holy bible? It’d be a world where women groveled at our manly feet, where gays were stoned to death, where whichever tribe heard the right voice in their ear was allowed to commit genocide, and where we all lived at the pleasure of a pernicious uber-being who doesn’t have the moral conviction he commands upon his subjects. Sounds pretty fucking awful to me….

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Interesting comments here

You and the guy above you prove that hypocrisy is alive and well. You mount a holy war against the school and parents for being against a book, then you declare the bible (another book) is bad and should not be taught. Well, maybe a little in literature or some context you agree with. And somehow you fail to see you are exactly like the people you write about?

Dark Helmetsays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Interesting comments here

“You and the guy above you prove that hypocrisy is alive and well. You mount a holy war against the school and parents for being against a book, then you declare the bible (another book) is bad and should not be taught.”

What the hell are you talking about? I specifically advocated above that the bible absolutely SHOULD be taught when teaching literature. What it shouldn’t have is any place in a science classroom because the bible isn’t science. It also shouldn’t be in a math classroom, because it doesn’t teach math. This isn’t difficult….

“Well, maybe a little in literature or some context you agree with.”

The bible is, among other things, literature. It is NOT science. Even if there is a scientific community within Christendom, no scientist would cite the bible as a scientific resource. That’s just silly.

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Interesting comments here

Have fun with that strawman, careful of sparks or open flames though.

Similar to what DH notes, I’m also not against the bible being read/studied in classrooms, but only in the context of literary or historical(how religion has shaped history, not history according to the bible) studies, and ideally alongside other religious texts.

However, the bible is in no way, shape or form scientific, and therefor should never be taught in a science classroom, and schools have no business pushing religion, any of them, so it should likewise never be taught in any manner implying that it’s contents are factual and/or historically accurate.

Anonymoussays:

Are children the property of their parents?

I find it interesting (disturbing) that no matter what side of this particular issue someone comes down on most people seem to accept that parents have absolute control – to the point of ownership – over their children. As a example of this attitude, I believe that most would agree with the statement “Unless there is evidence of abuse, runaway children should be returned to their parents”. The thing is, it wasn’t really all that long ago that wives, as well as children, were considered the property of their husbands/fathers. To help illuminate this issue try replacing “parent(s)” with “husband” and “child”/”children”/”teenagers” with “wife”/”women” etc – I bet that now not many people would accept the statement “Unless there is evidence of abuse, runaway [wives] should be returned to their [husbands]”

How about we try this with some of the statements from the article? We get: “Meridian police showed up. They said they had been called out by someone concerned about [women] picking up a copy of the book without having [their husband]’s permission.” or “Some [men] believe the book is not appropriate for [women]. Others who showed up said they had no problem with their [wives] reading it.” That really does look bad, but it does come from the point of view of the people being criticised in this story. How about we try a quote from Tim then: “If Stiles doesn’t want his [wife] to read this ‘offensive’ book, he should do all he can to prevent his, and only his, [wife] from doing so.” Hmm, just as bad.

We’ve finally (mostly) realised that women are human beings too, when do we finally extend the same recognition of humanity to children?

Groakersays:

Children

The relationship between parent and child is complex, and can not be realistically compared to that of spouses. As an example, spouses do not normally have the obligation to teach the other not to bite. But parents do have that duty. They also have a duty to raise a child to a semblance of maturity, not to decide what that child should be.

Kahil Gibran’s poem “On Children” should be required reading for all parents. For those of you not familiar with it read the following link:

http://www.katsandogz.com/onchildren.html

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