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Post subject: Md. county pulls 'Chocolate War' from HS curriculum  PostPosted: Apr 11, 2007 - 10:44 AM

Joined: Sep 06, 2006
Posts: 1195
Location: Valhalla Mountains, British Columbia, Canada
It's got profanity, sexual content and -- *gasp* -- references to homosexuality! REFERENCES, I tell you! Next, they'll ne talking about it *openly*!!!1!!11!!!

(Aberdeen, Md.) Harford County schools superintendent has removed The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier from the high school curriculum after receiving complaints from some 40 parents about vulgar language and homophobic slurs.

The book, which has a message about the dangers of bullying, is the first intended for use in Harford schools that has been removed, according to a memo on the school system's Web site from Superintendent Jacqueline Haas.


Over the summer, teachers set a syllabus for a new class called Living in a Contemporary World. It was produced to help students going from middle school to high school. The curriculum included the 1974 novel, which tells the story of a boy who is bullied because he won't take part in his school's fundraiser in which students sell chocolate. The book has won several awards and has been commended as a realistic portrayal of the dangers of bullying and harassment.

But several parents who objected to the some of the content in the book complained to school officials. At a board meeting last the fall, some parents expressed concern about profanity, sexual content and references to homosexuality, according to minutes from the meeting.

Note, not the homophobic slurs, but the mere references to homosexuality.

And apparently unaware of just how stupid this makes him sound, one of the parents comments:

John Wagner, whose son attends Fallston High, was among the parents who complained about the book at the board meeting. He said the mere fact that the book generated controversy meant it was better to remove it from the curriculum.

"When I spoke at the board meeting last year, I said (that) we don't tell our children to go out at midnight because nothing good can come from it," Wagner said this week. "Offering a controversial book as part of the curriculum seemed to be a similar situation," Wagner said. "I'm not an advocate for stopping free speech, but I am very pleased the school system isn't advocating the book as part of the curriculum."

Goodness knows, we don't want anything controversial taught in our high schools. Our pristine little moppets might encounter something that contradicts all the bullshit we've been stuffing them with. Rolling Eyes

Fortunately despite efforts to have the book banned from school and public libraries altogether (links to stories at link above), the book is still available in both venues.

What John Wagner doesn't seem to realize (or possibly he does and he just doesn't give a fuck) is that many of these pristine little high-school age moppets are out there mobbing, beating and maiming -- and killing -- other students from minority groups.

Students like this boy in Pueblo, Colorado:

A Centennial High School student in Pueblo was assaulted by five other teenagers because of his sexual orientation, a spokeswoman for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said.

The attack happened last Thursday while the 15-year-old boy was walking home from school, Theresa Martinez said. The student was alone when a vehicle with five teenagers inside passed him four times along Denver Boulevard.

The vehicle finally stopped and someone threw objects at the student and used derogatory language toward him, Martinez said. The boy told police that one of the teens got out of the car and blindsided him with a spray can. The boy suffered severe damage to his face and a broken nose, Martinez said, and must undergo surgery on Wednesday.

The Chocolate War should not only remain on the curriculum, but it should be read at junior high level, and other similar books should be part of every grade of public school, right down to King and King and And Tango Makes Three being read to children in the lowest grades.

Not that I would ever expect an asshole like John Wagner to understand that point, let alone agree with it -- he not only dislikes teaching not to beat up queers, he doesn't even want queers to be mentioned. Asshole.

"The dignity of an animal is measured by his capacity to revolt in the face of oppression." -- Mikhail Bakunin
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