Student Blawg: “Child of God”

By Bernie DeBoer

This case is something that should never have happened and should be thrown out of court the second it gets to a judge. After reading this news account, I hope you agree with me that the teacher should not be arrested and the school board held accountable for their actions.

The book in question, “Child of God”, was on the list that the English teachers in Tuscola had approved for a pre-advanced placement class. The novel, published in 1974, is about a town’s outsider who is falsely accused of rape and then begins killing people. The character lives in a cave with the victims’ decomposing bodies. According to the back cover, it “plumbs the depths of human degradation.” The book sounds pretty disgusting. I would prefer to not let my own kids read that book. However, if the book was approved by the school district, I should not raise any issue with a teacher assigning this book to be read. If there any objections by anyone against this book, the parents should be calling the school board and not going to the district attorney.

Comments:

  1. 1968’s Tinker v. Des Mones Independent School District stated that students “do not shed their constituational rights to freedom of speech or expression at the gates of the schoolhouse.”

    There have a been a number of classic books over my lifetime that were banned or challenged from school districts across the nation. Classic books such as Of Mice and Men was challenged as recent as 2002 in Michigan as a result of inappropriate language. At the same time, books such as the one mentioned aboue are approved as quality reading experiences leaving many parents to wonder how did this happen?

    Determining what’s right or wrong for our children to read should no longer be left to the discrention of the school board or a teacher.

    As parents or future parents, we need to take the responsiblity of reading what is assigned to our kids and if a book is deemed inappropriate maybe at that point it requires discussion with our children, their teachers or the school board, not the other way around.

    Comment by C. Turano on November 13, 2007 at 5:18 pm

  2. I cant recite any cases, but I can speak as a parent in regards to this subject, I think my first memory of book banning was when Hitler and his regime burned books or at least that is what i was taught. There will always be school boards, or other individuals because of some deemed certificate or election will say they by this virtue granted thme will be our moral conscience. There is a book in my sons classroom now that by title alone i do not feel comfortable with, yet at the same time i am willing to practice the cliche of “Don’t choose a book by its cover” I am going to respect the teachers decision on this book since I have not read it and in a form have stero typed it. The lessons somtimes taught in diffrent way than waht we as individuals are used to can be difficult, but should be allowed to try. Yet never should we forget the safty net to any of these issues is parents, or in theory should be.
    Let us not act as lemmings and follow each other off the cliff.

    Comment by thomas A on November 17, 2007 at 11:45 pm

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