'I don't want my kid reading that book'

It's a conundrum as old as parenting itself: Do you protect your children from what they may not be old enough to understand or do you free them to learn certain lessons first hand?

But perhaps nowhere does it play itself out more publicly than in the question of what kids should be allowed to read. Can a Philip Pullman novel undermine a child's belief in God? Will the "Twilight" vampire series give girls unhealthy and antifeminist ideas about relationships with men?

An incident in a Florida middle school is once again putting such questions in the headlines. David Myers couldn't believe the book his 12-year-old had checked out of the Tavares Middle School library. He found "Me, Penelope" to be full of  references to drugs and sex.

(In this story a teenage girl longs to lose her virginity. Her adventures include sexual experimentation and coping with the fact that her mother is dating a younger man.)

Myers says he doesn't want the book banned – but he does want the school to question the policy of having such works readily available to all kids in the library's general circulation section.

In Oregon last month, Taffey Anderson was outraged when her 13-year-old son brought home from his school library a popular graphic novel called "The Book of Bunny Suicides" by British author Andy Riley. (In this work of dark humor, cartoon rabbits try to help each other commit suicide.)

She was so outraged, in fact, that she refused to return the book to the library and announced that she would burn it.

How can parents be made comfortable about what their kids consume even as school protect the concept of intellectual liberty?

There are no easy answers on this one.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to 'I don't want my kid reading that book'
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today