According to Wesley Scroggins, an associate professor of management at Missouri State University, Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak should be banned from local high school English classes on account of it being “soft pornography”. In fact, the title of article in question claims that “filthy” books like Speak are “demeaning to Republic education.
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. A novel that deals with important themes like rape, post-traumatic stress, alienation, isolation and heartbreak is filthy. And rape is pornographic.
Think I’m exaggerating his claims? Honestly, I wish I was:
In high school English classes, children are required to read and view material that should be classified as soft pornography.
One such book is called “Speak.” They also watch the movie. This is a book about a very dysfunctional family. Schoolteachers are losers, adults are losers and the cheerleading squad scores more than the football team. They have sex on Saturday night and then are goddesses at church on Sunday morning. The cheer squad also gets their group-rate abortions at prom time. As the main character in the book is alone with a boy who is touching her female parts, she makes the statement that this is what high school is supposed to feel like. The boy then rapes her on the next page. Actually, the book and movie both contain two rape scenes.
Because Heaven forbid our young adults – let’s face it, they’re not children – be exposed to anything that may jeopardize their purity. Or expose them to just how evil the world really can be. Or be able to provide them hope and support if the unspeakable happens, and they find themselves facing a similar situation.
I’m not often known for biting my tongue, but this isn’t the forum for me to filter my rage through. Instead, read Laurie Halse Anderson’s response blog. Submit a letter to the editor of the News-Leader. Write to the superintendent of the Republic School District, or the high school principal.
And let’s keep in mind, this is a man who also wants to ban Slaughterhouse Five.