Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's Always Something

It's always something, and yesterday it was an annoying something known as Senate Bill 293. Senate Bill 293 would require teachers to give parents 48 hours notice before any instruction involving "human sexuality issues, profanity, sexual acts, violence, drugs and/or alcohol."
The parents, once notified would be allowed to exempt their child from that instruction.

Here is the crazy scenario that plays out with such legislation: Three kids are exempted from an American Literature lesson on "To Kill A Mockingbird", six kids are exempted from health class, two from biology, one from history class, and two more from a class covering "Macbeth". This happens after someone has tracked the daily flow of permission slips and exemptions. Now, you have the exemptions for the week, and who watches these kids and where? Are we going to have extra staff in every school for this mandate?

The group behind this legislation is the Delaware Family Policy Council. Their website, they proudly called SB293 their first piece of legislation. In case you had any doubt on how the DFPC would use this legislation, consider that their website placed parents on "high alert" about a number of books. When you clicked on the book list, a list of 101 books appeared and included "To Kill A Mockingbird", "Catcher In the Rye", the entire "Goosebumps" series as well as all the "Harry Potter" books, "A Wrinkle In Time", "Of Mice and Men", "Captain Underpants", and most appropriately, "Fahrenheit 451", Ray Bradbury's classic story about a time in the future when books are banned and burned. My examples were a quick sampling that caught my eye, but suffice it to say that most of the books in school that challenged your perception of the world, gave you a glimpse into other cultures, or just gave you chuckle are probably on that list.

I will spare you anymore drama. The Delaware State Education Association, the Delaware Association of School Administrators, the American Civil Liberties Union, Delaware Planned Parenthood, and the Delaware Department of Education all testified against the bill in the Senate Education Committee yesterday.

Thankfully, it does not appear that the bill will make it out of committee. However, this group is not going away, and they will be back next year with similar legislation.

1 comment:

  1. Scary stuff. We have trouble keeping track of 6th graders who are not permitted to see any film rated other than "G". This would be a planning nightmare. And, just wait until you mess up and let Jimmy hear or see about the dangers of ___. There will be hell to pay.