will, I know what you mean and understand. But on the other hand, a friend of mine grew up in the cozy, super protected world her parents had "made" for her. Of course it's perfectly normal and great that parents want to protect their kids but sometimes even with the best intentions it doesn't lead to the "result" they thought it would.
When I first read a book that was pretty sexist (and yes, involved a rape) I must say now, my mom explained me that unfortunately there are still people around who think such kind of bullshit and that really sad things like rape do happen but that there are ways to protect yourself from this. She explained it all well, it got me thinking and feel safe.
My friend never had talks like that with her parents since they preferred to pretend everything's pink and lovely in this world. And it seems to me that she even nowadays has still a bigger struggel to cope with things (I don't completely blame the book thing, more that she in general was over protected, but you get the idea).
Plus, sometimes kids and parents just have different opinions on what a good book is or not. Until now my parents don't get at all why I enjoy Stephen King here and then.
Oh, and I don't think books and films are comparable. A film is way more drastic and impressive cause it's visuable. And when you are scared by or feel uncomfortable with a book as a kid you can always lay it aside while in cinema there is a certain pressure to stay there (not being a "pussy, not disturbing the other visitors when leaving, never knowing the end of the film,...)

Bill Baar

I'm not to frightened of book banning gone wild in my local community. The kids are pushed to the net anyways and I appreciate someone keeping track of what they do there, read, and view.

The threat today is what happened with the Berlin Opera and Mozart. That's the real intimitation we see today.

The Happy Feminist

I agree. This isn't book "banning" in the classic sense. It isn't anything to be afraid of. But it is often silly and it is a pity for a lot of kids who are deprived of the opportunity to read all sorts of fine books. (The ones that get banned seem to be awfully good books, in my humble opinion.)


I don't think there's anything wrong with taking kids to see whatever.

The first three words of your sentence are absolutely correct if, in fact, this is your opinion. Do you really see nothing wrong with letting a six-year-old watch Faces of Death or Sin City? That it's perfectly reasonable to let one's ten-year-old watch Hungry Anal Sluts?

Yes, it is silly and a pity that many parents are terrified of their children being exposed to Other Ideas. But you're stretching that to pretend there is no such thing as age-appropriate exposure, or that only bad parents say "Oh, did your teacher suggest that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an excellent historical work? I wouldn't want to censor you, darling, so just get back to me if you have any questions about that."


On the other hand, aren't their certain values, civic values, that Americans all should share, and that should be taught in public education? Is it worrisome that a significant minority of the population is now home schooled and therefore possibly learning a very different version of civics than the conventional?

I think it's more worrisome that a majority of the population in traditional education isn't learning civic values at all! Very scary.


"Some parents believe that homosexuality is a sin, so isn't a public school overstepping the line if it teaches that homosexuality is not a sin?"

Except that they're not ( or at least here they're not) they don't pronounce on the sinfulness or otherwise of either heterosexual or homosexual sex, they make clear that it's normal, it's more common than most people think and that it can be done safely and that not doing it is always an option.

I don't see this as any different from biology classes teaching the methodology of evolution, parents can always explain that they do not believe in evolution but no parent should be able to prevent a child from learning about the concept of evolution.

The beauty of a secular education is that it ignores the question of god entirely leaving it up to parents to focus on what is or is not sinful.


duh, should be "...that only bad parents WOULDN'T say...", above.

Some parents believe that 'race mixing' is a sin, but we don't expect public schools to accomodate that, either.

The Happy Feminist

The first three words of your sentence are absolutely correct if, in fact, this is your opinion. Do you really see nothing wrong with letting a six-year-old watch Faces of Death or Sin City? That it's perfectly reasonable to let one's ten-year-old watch Hungry Anal Sluts?


I would do what my parents did. Which was warn me if they thought something might be too scary and disturbing. Then it was my call if I wanted to risk it. They did that even when I was as young as 3.

Obviously, I would also take care not to run afoul of criminal laws that prohibit adults from exposing children to pornography. And I probably wouldn't go out of my way to expose my kid to "Faces of Death."

The problem with that, HF, is that you seem to be working under the assumption that a young child has the rational/judgemental capacity to make that decision for him or herself. Children that young don't - which is why they need parents. I can try to dig up some science articles about brain and decision-making development when i get off work, I suppose...

The Happy Feminist

Sure, when I was a kid I watched and read some scary stuff that had me lying in bed all night in a cold sweat with my eyes wide open. (I was absolutely petrified after watching "In Cold Blood" when I was eight. And I went to a horrible depressed funk after reading "A Criminal History of Mankind" by Colin Wilson at 13.) But in the long run, even though I passed some nights in flat out terror, I am grateful that my parents didn't interfere with my exploration of literature and film.

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