I have been called a prude for the way I have raised my daughters. I am beginning to agree with that compliment!
Yesterday, our youngest daughter, Dixie told me that she was uncomfortable reading aloud in her Language Arts class. I automatically assumed it was because of being shy or maybe not being able to pronounce some of the words correctly. She quickly let me know that it was not because of that. The book contained curse words and even tempted her to say the Lord’s name in vain if she would have read what was written. She told me that she replaced the words with something that she deemed appropriate as a thirteen year old Christian, not knowing how far she could go without fulfilling the assignment. The children snickered.
So what is the solution? I wrote the teacher a note asking him not to call on Dixie to read aloud any literature if there was cursing involved. I planned to read the book this weekend to make a final decision on how our family should handle it. As soon as she got into the truck, I asked her if her teacher honored the request. She told me that he didn’t want the students to read it aloud today because he thought it would be inappropriate. “Worse than yesterday?” I asked. “Yes ma’am, and you’re not going to be happy!” She explained to me that the next chapter was about a little boy who took a Playboy magazine from a store and eventually….. well you know mama, what boys do when they get excited.” I read the chapter quickly which also had a paragraph about how the boy didn’t feel guilty during communion because it was just bread from the store and how Jesus was just a dude with good Public Relations.
You can imagine my horror and thoughts! I immediately called the school and asked to speak to the principal.
My children have gone to this particular school for a long time and as an owner of a preschool, I have recommended hundreds of students to them. I have always said that if a family can not afford Christian School, this school was the best option in our area because they base their character education on Biblical principles and many of their teachers are Christians. Even if they are not able to teach Christ, they can portray Him with the evidence of the fruits of the Spirit.
I understand that we have chosen Public school and there are consequences of doing so. Unfortunately, I am not the only one making the decision of where our children go to school. What do we do as Christian parents? What do we tell our children? Well, first of all, Russ and I explained our Biblical view of what they have read so far. Second of all, I have told Dixie that she is not allowed to read the rest of the book.
I will find out if there will be an alternate book offered to Dixie and if she will be able to go the library when the book is read aloud. I will also contact the Christian Law Association to find out what our rights are as parents, after all, some children are not allowed to participate in holidays because of religious freedom, surely there will be an easy answer. I will also go further and contact the Department of Education and ask for it to be taken off of the eighth grade reading list. I researched the book today. It was written in 1974 and has been controversial since the beginning. Some states have banned it from their reading list and there are many parents fighting to get it off of the “list”.
Yes, I realize that my children hear curse words on a daily basis in public school. Yes, I realize that she already knows what boys do “when they get excited”. We have taught her that she has a choice everyday to either live for Christ or not, to be known as light or darkness. My children are normal children and have to make this a daily decision just like we do as adults. Some days we succeed and sometimes we fail. How sad that she had to make a choice during an assignment given by the school. How sad is it that there are so many children who do not have a strong enough Biblical background read that Jesus was just a dude with good PR.
We have made many mistakes as parents, and try to be better every day. We stand firm on the foundation that we have given our children. We strive to live the life that we teach. We start every day with a pure heart to do so. I am not sure of the outcome and know that we are fighting a spiritual battle. We are praying for wisdom and favor.