Profanity is listed as the reason for many schools to ban classic literary works such as “The Catcher in the Rye” and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” but one Tennessee school apparently felt a profanity and violence-laced book called “Robopocalypse” was too important to leave out of its curriculum.
John Steinbeck’s classic “Of Mice and Men” has been prohibited in many schools for its profanity and use of the Lord’s name in vain, though an excerpt of “Robopocalypse” included on its promotional website features a continuous barrage of profane language and sacrilegious use of the names of God and Jesus.
At least a few informed and involved parents are expressing their outrage after learning students are being assigned this book, laced with adult-oriented language and themes, as a mandatory part of their studies.
Reports indicate one such parent lamented that his child, age 14, “is being forced to read profanity,” adding, “We want our kids to be civilized citizens and … this does not serve that purpose.”
While the excerpt mentioned earlier contains enough objectionable material to upset many traditional parents, some lines of text are completely beyond the pale.
One passage reportedly includes the quote, “I swear to God and all his cronies, darling I’ll f***ing kill you.” That single line encompasses almost everything most moral parents want to keep their children from reading, though the school allegedly gave parents no warning this material was included as assigned reading.
According to one school administrator, staff “decided that most (not all) students of this age group are exposed to profanity through much more graphic means than the written text.” This is supposed to excuse an instructor mandating all students (not most) in the class read material their parents very well might find abhorrent?
This is just another case of schools, and in a broader sense, government, believing they know what we need better than we do. It was up to the parents themselves to take the initiative to read the material themselves to find out exactly how profane it is.
“I’m not mad at the author,” the concerned parent reportedly said. “The thing that upsets me most is the total disregard for parental consent.”
The bottom line is that this book was included as mandatory summer reading for Knox County incoming freshmen and, while I don’t support book bans that don’t allow access to important literature such as “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” the very least school administrators should do is familiarize themselves with the books they are assigning and require parental permission before requiring youth to read material contrary to the values of many parents.
Photo credit: theNerdPatrol (Creative Commons)