10 Utterly Eye-Rolling Reasons Schools Have Banned Books
This book features Shel Silverstein‘s sketch of a man’s bare, obscenely dimpled backside; a poem about evolution; and a character whose ticklishness causes him to laugh so hard he rolls under a train and dies – and none of that was enough to get it banned. What was it that crossed the line? The protagonist of one poem decides to break some dishes to get out of washing them. Yup, fractured place settings are way more alarming than homicide!
7. My Friend Flicka
PONIES PONIES PONIES PONIES–sorry, I had a flashback to my Marguerite Henry and Black Beauty-filled fourth grade year. I’m better now. This touching story about a boy and his horse is so packed with homespun, heartwarming goodness that they made it into a movie in 1943 that still gets shown about every 12 seconds on family movie channels. So why does it need to be stricken from the library’s catalog? A female dog in the movie is referred to as a “bitch”. We sure don’t want kids to learn anything about loving and protecting animals if it means we have to stop for five damn seconds to explain a side note about the evolution of language along the way.
Women chasing girls who are in disguise as boys, cross-dressing, and the always-dreaded “glorification of alternative lifestyles”. (If disguising yourself as your twin brother to avoid being sexually assaulted in a foreign city counts as an alternative lifestyle, I feel like it’s a pretty obscure one.) People who want to ban this book must not have read all the way to the ending, where heroine Viola drops her cross-dressing disguise and Shakespeare settles everyone down into tidy heterosexual pairings.
This book about banning books was banned because in the futuristic dystopia it portrays, the Bible was one of the numerous books condemned to be destroyed. “We’re going to ban your book about how bad it is that our book was banned!” GENIUS. I know the word of God is supposed to be enduring, but did these people really think that meant “fireproof”, too?
10. The dictionary
Whoa, there, kiddo, put down that dictionary before you accidentally learn something! Parents in California’s Menifee Union school district got the book banned because they were upset it provided a definition for the word “oral sex”. Come on, prude parents: you’re already robbing kids of some classic pieces of kids’ literature, so please don’t also deprive middle schoolers of the joy of gleefully looking up “tit” and “wiener” in the dictionary.