Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Students and Parents Demand "Comfort"

The county in which I live in the great state of Maryland requires that students in the 9th grade read "To Kill a Mockingbird." Now this is not some jive comic book. It isn't some piece of tripe that they dragged in off of the street. The book won the Pulitzer Prize. It centers on the experience of a young woman, a coming of age novel, in which there is racial conflict. The time is the 1950s. Why am I telling you this? If you haven't read it, get off of your duff, find a copy, and read it. Or, at the very least, watch the movie which, while it isn't the book, is pretty decent.

To call the residents of the county which is very diverse racially and ethnically, well off would be quite the understatement. The education level of the parents is high. I haven't looked up the numbers but trust me on this one. These folks want for nothing. And their darlings go to college.

It seems that the Board of Education which apparently once had a clue requires a discussion of the word "nigger" in an historical context before the students read the book. May I remind you that these urchins are about 14 years old, hardly infants. So it seems that some students AND THEIR PARENTS are complaining because the word makes them ... wait for it ... uncomfortable. And, worse yet, the Board of Education is going to reevaluate the requirement because heavens knows we don't want anybody to be uncomfortable.

Ok, I'll admit that I'm totally heartless, have no feelings for the little darlings and their parents, but WHAT THE HELL IS EDUCATION FOR? Are they only supposed to learn things that make them comfortable? Are we actually growing another damn generation of marshmallows with three brain cells? How will they ever be able to analyze information, do research, or comprehend logic without being uncomfortable.

Shit. I desperately want to call child protective services and take the little darlings to a place where they might, oh, learn something.

Thank you for listening. I'll go stick my head in the sink now.

No comments: