(Note from Editor: The advisory warning we are providing for this article is much more of a warning than your children will receive in their library. The only way to sufficiently communicate how graphic the photos are to parents is by publishing them as-is. A-MM)
As parents we reserve the right to raise our children as we see fit. If that means never letting them have sugar or raising them to know the Bible or as Buddhists or home schooling then that is our prerogative, as parents.
It is also a parent’s right to decide what literature, movies and hobbies they are exposed to.
A few weeks ago your Facebook feed may have been littered with naked cartoons depicting sexual acts and/or different body types. If you’re like me you got tired of seeing them. These cartoons were from a book called “It’s Perfectly Normal,” a book for middle school aged kids to teach them about sex. It deals with the changes kids bodies go through and sex, and is aimed at ages 10 and up.
I apologize in advance for sharing these pictures taken from this book but I feel you need to see them in order to grasp the horror some parents may feel when seeing that this book is available in their school’s library.
When we first saw this book on Victoria Jackson’s site many parents began paying attention and asking questions of their school district’s policies on teaching body development and whether or not this book was used. One such parent is Russ, who lives in Oregon.
Russ is not happy that this book is available at the school library where his children attend school; he is not happy that it is available for children to check out without parental approval.
Russ is not asking that the book be banned. He is not asking that it not be available in the school library. He is simply asking that children who want to read the book attain parental approval to do so.
The school claims that they do have a policy aimed at elementary children but middle school students can make their own decisions.
I know that whey my children become 11 and start middle school I will immediately let them make their own decisions about all kinds of important things. Sex, drugs, alcohol, nothing is off limits! Oh wait, my sarcasm was coming through there.
I understand the science and health part of human reproduction. I understand that teachers can present the sexual organs and how they function in a scientific way. Of course this will include how bodies change throughout puberty. It can all be very scientific.
What is not scientific is showing lewd cartoons of children masturbating. Discussing homosexuality and how it works and how to treat homosexuals. This all falls into the category of behavior and is very personal and should not be relegated to school in the name of “health/science” class or in the ever-popular “No Bully Zone.”
We could talk to doctors and psychologists and counselors all day long and receive many different reasons, backed with data, I’m sure, to either use this book or not use this book.
At the end of the day, if Russ wants to complain about this book, it’s his prerogative. He wants the opportunity to shield his children from this book. He is not talking about taking the right of other parents to use the book away. It sounds like he just wants parents to have to sign off on their kid checking it out. In this way, he’s advocating for all parents to have a say. Good, bad, or ugly, they all get their own say.
The reason more parents do not stand up for what they feel is right is because they are endlessly attacked by people of another opinion.
If you read the comments on the article about Russ’s stance you will see all kinds of people slinging mud at a concerned parent. Comments range from the, “Heaven forbid a child learn about sex!!” sarcasm to the, “My father disapproved of the book and any other sexual education for me when I was around the same age. Little did everyone know, he had been molesting me for around a year,” comment that suggests the father has nefarious reasons for not wanting his kids to see the freakish cartoon drawings of human genitalia.
Shame on people who like to say, “Live and let live! You are suppressing my rights!” This man does not want to suppress anyone’s rights. He wants to actually extend those rights to all parents. Maybe it’s taking away the right of the child to just check it out and look at it as he wants, but that’s a parent’s job–to protect their children, even if it means infringing on their rights.
Next time we see a parent infringe on a child’s right to cross the road without looking both ways first and the child is killed by a car do we applaud the parent’s open mindedness and letting the child learn the way the real world functions without protection of a caregiver who loves them and wants what’s best for their health and wellbeing?
A child getting hit by a car is not the same as exposing them to this book, obviously. But the point is that both cause harm. Harm that is unnecessary and that could be avoided.
As I stated in the article about The Bluest Eye: “Because there is no evidence that would suggest this book or this kind of content is proven to be of any value to children. On the contrary, there are a handful of cases…where this kind of literature can be proven to have harmed children.”
The Bluest Eye is not this “educational” book about puberty, either. I don’t want to compare them as apples to apples because they are not. However, there has never been a case proven that this kind of book will help a child. There have only ever been evidence shown that these things harm children.
Why the gratuitous pictures of naked body types? Does a child need to see them? No! The only people who will see all of these body types are people who become doctors, nurses, etc. And will these cartoons help prepare them for what they see?? No!
Again, I, like Russ, do not condone banning books. We don’t want to ban this book or even have it removed from a library that is for children. We only want the opportunity to decide whether our children read it or not.