There might be concern about America's performance in the classroom in mathematics and science, but on the subject of bestiality, at least one Rhode Island school is at the top of the class.
A parent objected to her daughter having to write an essay on a book that included profanity and acts of bestiality. The girl, a freshman, her mother, the local school system's response all make for a telling story. More on assignments in bestiality in the classroom from Providence Journal:
A high school reading assignment that contains profanity and references to bestiality has angered a Cumberland parent so much she has complained to the superintendent, the School Committee and the state Department of Education. She wants the essay removed from the curriculum and the teacher disciplined.
So far, that hasn’t happened. Will Clarke, the author of the offending eight-page essay, “How to Kill a Boy That No One Liked,” doesn’t see what the fuss is all about.
Clarke, who has two novels published by Simon & Schuster, The Worthy: A Ghost’s Story (2006) and Lord Vishnu’s Love Handles: A Spy Novel (Sort of) (2005), says the essay is about his own high school experience in Shreveport, La., where he was a loner who was constantly picked on until he reinvented himself.
“It’s about a pivotal point in my high school experience when I won an election and stopped being a loser in people’s eyes,” the Dallas-based author said in a telephone interview.
“If anything, the essay is redemptive. That’s what literature does. It gets people to try on another person’s skin and see what it’s like,” he said. “It’s totally appropriate for high school kids.”
Lori Drew first saw the essay when her 15-year-old daughter, Amanda, a freshman at Cumberland High, brought it home as part of a homework assignment for a reading class early this month. The assignment was to read the essay and come up with as many questions as possible.
“I was shocked with the profanity and explicit sex acts with animals,” she told the School Committee last week as she handed out copies of the essay to members of the audience and the committee.
Superintendent of Schools Donna Morelle agreed to let Amanda opt out of the assignment and left Drew with the impression that the essay itself would be pulled.
But the assignment was never eliminated. The superintendent could not be reached to explain the apparent misunderstanding.
“She lied to me,” Drew said after the meeting.
Upon reading this story, parents will shake their collective heads, ominous music will play as keyboards tap out stories about the Power of the Religious Right in America and some will argue for the free interchange of discussion in the classroom. The familiar calls of "censorship" will be heard. Many of those voices will be the same ones who shout down the protests this story will generate,
Of course, others might take a shower and grab the latest issue of "Farm Digest".
& Little Baby Ginn
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