A mother in Philadelphia is demanding her 14-year-old son’s teacher be fired after he purchased Fifty Shades of Grey for in-class reading. I think she may be totally over-reacting.
Philip Aidoo asked students what books they would like to read for an independent reading period and purchased them all with his own money. All of the other books he ordered were G-rated. The CEO of the charter school where he works told NBC News that Aidoo “did not have an awareness of this popular book.” He must live in a cave.
Aidoo was suspended for a week but this was not enough to placate mother Maya Ladson. She doesn’t believe his story that he had no knowledge of the content of the book:
“It clearly states on the cover, that the book is for mature audiences and has high sexual content,” Ladson said. “This was a 100-percent act of negligence. There should never be pornographic material purchased and distributed to a student by a school teacher.”
I absolutely agree that this is not appropriate material for a teacher to be distributing to a student. I’m not sure where he purchased it, but a quick perusal of Amazon.com shows that it is not totally obvious that this book is “pornographic.” The only other text on the cover – besides the title – is “New York Times Bestseller.” While I do believe that he should have looked into what he was purchasing for his kids – the student asked for it. I don’t find it hard to believe that a teacher would assume that a student wouldn’t be asking for something “pornographic” for his independent reading.
I think this mother should turn her ire in the direction that it belongs – at her son. It was a pretty manipulative move to pull. Why would you ever ask a teacher for something like that? Maybe they could avoid a debacle like this in the future by having parents sign off on any reading bought for kids that isn’t a part of the school curriculum.
The school is on break right now, but when it is back in session Ladson plans to protest outside the school with other parents. She says her son’s education has be “compromised.” The school is standing behind what they thought was an “honest” mistake. I’m sort of inclined to agree with the school here.