“Oral Sex” Definition Convinces District to Ban Dictionary
Menifee Union School District in Southern California has decided to impose a temporary ban of Merriam Webster’s 10th edition from all school shelves. The decision came after a parent discovered the definition of “oral sex” in the dictionary, and felt the information was too graphic for kids.
District spokeswoman Betti Cadmus says that the definition is too explicit for children, and has no place in a dictionary used by elementary students.
“It’s just not age appropriate,” said Cadmus.
School officials will review the dictionary to decide if it should be permanently banned because of the “sexually graphic” entry. According to a memo written Superintendent Linda Callaway, the dictionaries were initially purchased a few years ago for fourth and fifth grade classrooms district-wide. This is the first time a book has been removed from classrooms throughout the district.
“It’s hard to sit and read the dictionary, but we’ll be looking to find other things of a graphic nature,” Cadmus said. She said dictionary entries defining human anatomy would not be an issue.
Some disagree with the conservative censorship within the school district.
“Censorship in the schools, really? Pretty soon the only dictionary in the school library will be the Bert and Ernie dictionary,” said Emanuel Chavez, the parent of second and sixth grade students. “If the kids are exposed to it, it’s up to the parents to explain it to them at their level.”
Board member Rita Peters wonders why one parent’s complaint would convince the district to ban the dictionaries.
“If we’re going to pull a book because it has something on oral sex, then every book in the library with that better be pulled,” she said. “The standard needs to be consistent . We don’t need parents setting policy.”
Chavez and Peters both make great points. Merriam Webster dictionary defines oral sex as “oral stimulation of the genitals.”
How is that really too graphic?
You would expect to find a “how to” guide next to definition considering all the outrage conservative parents are feeling. But there is no illustration that demonstrates how oral sex is performed. There are no pictures of nudity, genitalia, or even a woman licking a lolly. Nothing.
What amuses me is the fact that the parent who brought the definition to the district’s attention was looking for it. She went through the dictionary and looked up “oral sex.” Maybe this person was hoping for advice on how to perform better in bed? Or maybe this parent just had too much time on her hands?
If her child was the one who found the definition and inquired about it, the parent can use it as the perfect opportunity to begin discussions on the birds and the bees. Hiding information from her child will only convince him or her to find it elsewhere.
Either way, it is unfair to take something as important as the dictionary off school shelves because one parent is too afraid to talk to her kids about sex.
Abstinence-only education has proven to fail time and time again. Kids want to learn about sex, and they are exposed to sexual content earlier in their lives due to the mainstream media. Censoring sexual content in books like the dictionary does not prevent young students from becoming sexually curious. If anything, mainstream media will accelerate their curiosity, and all credible resources on the matter will be out of reach since parents are censoring it.
And we wonder why pregnancy rates are rising in the U.S?
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