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Puritans Run Amok – Schools ban Anne Frank and Webster’s Dictionary

Since when is one parent complaining about a book enough to get it pulled from schools?

In seemingly unrelated incidents, a Virginia school district has yanked Anne Frank’s famous diary off its curriculum and shelves, because of a short passage about genitalia:

There are little folds of skin all over the place, you can hardly find it. The little hole underneath is so terribly small that I simply can’t imagine how a man can get in there, let alone how a whole baby can get out!

But if that weren’t silly enough, a school district in Southern California has pulled the Merriam Webster dictionary from all school shelves because (I’m not making this up), it has an entry for “oral sex” (defined as “oral stimulation of the genitals”).

Both incidents were caused by a single complaint from a parent.

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11 Comments

  1. Sammy wrote:

    I’m married. What is this “oral sex” of which you speak?

    Friday, January 29, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    yeah, I asked my wife, and she didn’t know either. :-)

    Friday, January 29, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink
  3. starluna wrote:

    Technically, they didn’t pull the book. There are two versions of the diary. In, the original version, the father edited out some of Anne Frank’s personal thoughts and criticisms of other Jews. This passage was not included in that version. The new version published in 1995 is the diary in its entirety. The school district decided to have teachers use the original, edited version instead.

    Stupid decision, in my opinion. But not total censorship.

    Friday, January 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    Since when it editing out parts of a book not censorship?

    Friday, January 29, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink
  5. Sammy wrote:

    How much you wanna bet the same people who applaud these decisions are the same people who cry “political correctness” at every non-conservative school decision?

    (For the record, I do think there is a lot of PC BS out there, but hate when “PC!” is screamed to cover bigotry or truly offensive behavior.)

    Friday, January 29, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Permalink
  6. Chuck Makela wrote:

    Wow, I’ve read enough. All I can picture is a 300 lbs. idiot reading the dictionary while embracing masterbation and a second course of chocolate. And we have to entertain the court system with these wacked off people? Carry on dictionario – may words explode in your face during your march through the unemployment line. Chuck

    Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Permalink
  7. Moe wrote:

    Those complaining parents are probably the same ones who loudly and publicly demand action from the school board when a teacher looks sideways at their kid.

    Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Permalink
  8. Iron Knee wrote:

    It would be more ironic if they were the same ones who are molesting their kids. Not that I would ever accuse them of that.

    Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Permalink
  9. Effis wrote:

    No, they are the ones in support of abstinence and object to sex education and birth control and end up with pregnant 15 year old children…I guess they believe if you pretend it doesn’t exist it won’t happen.

    Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Permalink
  10. Sammy wrote:

    Effis, you leave Sarah Palin out of this! ;)

    Monday, February 1, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Permalink
  11. starluna wrote:

    I generally agree with all that is said. However, keep in mind that the original censorship occurred with Anne Frank’s father. The book that most of us read was the edited/censored version. I do not believe that my understanding of the holocaust was somehow shortchanged because I didn’t read that Anne Frank was ignorant about how her sexual organs functioned.

    While I think the decision by the school is stupid, short-sighted and profoundly disrespectful, we should recognize that they are not removing the book from the classroom. They are changing from the more explicit (as some people view it) to the less explicit version. If the educational goal is to understand the experience of the holocaust from the perspective of the victims, there is significantly less lost than the entire books from the classroom.

    Monday, February 1, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Permalink