No, despite the summer doldrums and fewer and fewer visitors to my site, I didn’t use that title merely to draw horny teenagers to my site.
Rather, I used it to draw attention to a recent article in the Seattle Times describing how a “13-line verse was abruptly pulled from this year’s [Shoreline High School] magazine after parental complaints about a profane word in its title.” Of course, the “profane word” is never revealed, so the reader is never given a chance to judge for himself how offensive the title really was. I had a better title for this entry, but bowing to Leslie’s and Dawn’s opinion, I self-censored myself, but I suspect that the word was probably more descriptive than my title.
Apparently the subject of the poem wasn’t considered either when it was censored unless parents want their teenage daughters to have as much sex as possible while they’re still young and attractive because “the poem’s author, Zoya Raskina, 17, said her verse was about the pressure teenagers face to have sex and the disillusionment that can follow.”
Not unexpectedly, the poem wasn’t the only thing that was “censored.” District administrators asked “Steve Kelly, an English teacher with the district for 35 years, to step down as magazine adviser.” As a former yearbook advisor, newspaper advisor, and literary journal advisor, I’ve had to deal with more than my share of censorship, including resigning for several years after an infamous yearbook photo taken during a Halloween assembly became a centerpiece in the media coverage of a trial.
Such censorship isn’t limited to publications, though, as I had more than a few parents complain about teaching Catch-22 and Grapes of Wrathin a junior Honors American Studies class. Apparently parents expected their children to see the sanitized version of war where a profane word is seldom heard and the skies are full of American flags brightly lit by the rocket’s red glare at dawn’s early light.
Is it surprising that America repeatedly finds itself fighting the same old wars, and that children find themselves pregnant the same way they got pregnant in the “good old days” when I was in high school and girls never got pregnant, they just faded away?
Sugar-coated lies aren’t likely to produce educated students, though they are likely to appease a highly vocal group of parents who feel it’s their duty to protect the young people of our community from the horrible truths of life, unless of course there’s a profit to be made.
Did I ever bother to tell you why I didn’t start a blog while I was still teaching, or why I probably wouldn’t recommend it to most high school teachers unless they enjoy lying to students and parents alike?
Perhaps the title of this entry merely seemed an appropriate title for an entry letting those who have followed my recovery from prostate cancer know that my testosterone level has returned to its old levels, but, unfortunately, I’m unable to celebrate that return adequately. I guess I’ll have to provide release in a few well-aimed articles.
Such is life and its many joys.