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Issue in English class - Page 5

post #81 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCMoulton View Post
I hope change your mind and return. Honestly, I do believe that you are overreacting. High school is not a PG environment anymore.
Elementary school is not PG any more. In 1989, when I went to a K-8 school in south Phoenix, we had THREE pregnant girls in my grade. I wasn't in 8th grade, or even 7th grade. We had THREE pregnant 12 year olds in the 6th grade.
post #82 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyofmany View Post

So, how detailed is the sexual assault/rape?
I have not read the whole thread, but as an English teacher and parent myself, my biggest issue is not your choice to not let him read it, but rather the fact that you are not making a fully informed decision. If you are that concerned YOU should read the book first and then decide if it is acceptable for your child.
post #83 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by tex.mom View Post
I realize this is my personal experience, but I was in 9th grade the first time a friend was raped (incidentally by an older, popular guy). She did speak up and no one believed her, and she was shunned by everyone, including the parents. I had a couple friends confide similar events to me later, but no one ever spoke up again.

I truly believe these issues are discussed in many schools at this age, outside of the classroom setting.

I was in the 9th grade when I was date raped The guy who did it bragged to the whole school about popping my cherry and I got labeled a slut. No one believed me, or they all thought I asked for it, because I had lied to my parents about where I was and went to his house with two other couples when I knew his parents were not home. Yes, appropriate/relevent material for 9th grade
post #84 of 128
I don't know this particular book, but if it was handled well, I would have no problem. In fact, I think it is *important* for these things to be discussed. I don't think grade 9 is too young at all. We read To Kill a Mockingbird and that had a lot of deep issues we discussed.
post #85 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post
This isn't fair. No, it isn't her attitude that causes young girls and boys to not report sexual assault. Sexual assault is very complicated and reporting it is very hard. My mother didn't censor anything I read and my mother didn't care what I did at school and I didn't report sexual assault when I was in high school.

Attacking her and blaming her for terrible things isn't going to help the situation.
It is not the only reason, but it is one reason. Contributing to the air of secrecy, taboo, and shame around sexual assault is a huge problem in perpetuating more assaults and victimizing the victim again.
post #86 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyofmany View Post
I think it'a wrong to discuss sexual asault and rape in a 9th grade classroom. That's my problem with it. I'm obviously not as free of a thinker as most here, and I believe such things shouldn't be discussed in school.
why? i don't understand this at all, sorry. it's a part of life. how exactly would it be avoided for 6-7 hours per day? you do realize that some of the girls who read this book will likely have had or will later have this happen to them, right? which is a whole lot worse than talking about it :
post #87 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
This thread isn't about what is being talked about in the halls, it's about a book being pushed on 14 yr olds. If a parents doesn't agree then that's their choice.

I do think the parent should make sure the child is getting the information elsewhere but that's JMHO. Just because I'm against my child being forced to sit in a classroom of his peers (males and females) and listen to a book being read that has rape or sex in the context doesn't mean I wouldn't talk to him outside the classroom on my own or that I wouldn't condone the same book being read to him within an all male group through his class. I think there are more tactful ways to do it. If they wanted to discuss situations in health class regarding sex or rape then I'd probably be okay with that (maybe) as long as it's done in the right manner. However, I think the genders should be separated. That way if anyone has a question they aren't embarrassed to ask in front of the opposite sex, things like that.

I think sex is too "loosely" discussed in society today and then parents turn around and gripe about their young teens maturing too fast. That's very contradictive. Actually, if more parents would start talking to their "own" children about sex beginning at a very young age then such books wouldn't have to be read in a classroom. But I understand a lot of parents are embarrassed to do so and would rather the schools (or their peers) do it for them.
IS there a "tactful" way to discuss rape? I have, thankfully, not been in that situation OR known anyone who has. But both of my kids - boy AND girl - have been taught from early on that NO means NO! My son would try to wrestle with his little sister, and when she said STOP, darned straight he was taught that meant STOP. Whether they were 5, 10, 15 or whatever age.

If 14 is too young to discuss rape, when is it appropriate? I'm honestly gobsmacked. OP... you son already knows about rape - I can guarantee it. What he needs now is some serious and honest discussion about it. If you're not comfortable with it happening in school, so be it. At least talk to him at home.

Me? I'm likely going to go out and buy the book for all three of us to read.
post #88 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyofmany View Post
My oldest (boy, age 14) brought home a permission slip for English class to read the book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. The slip said that there was mention of sexual assault and rape in the book, so if we weren't comfortable with our child reading that, they could do an alternate project.

I've never heard of this book, and was shocked that it would be considered for an English project! I said no, my child would not read that book.

What do you think? Am I over-reacting as usual? Has anyone here read that book?
I have to ask, if he was a girl do you think that your response would be the same? Ignoring the issue and existence of rape is one of the privileges of being born male, and I'm glad that there are some men who are prepared to go beyond she's lying/ she asked for it.
post #89 of 128
i'm kind of suprised at the response on this thread.

i have opted my child out of a few things at school b/c either i wanted to handle that kind of thing myself or b/c i felt it was innapropriate subject matter for my child.

it does seem like this is more about the op's comfort level than her son's comfort level though.

i haven't read that book but i can see opting out if i felt my child couldn't handle it, didn't feel the teacher could handle it

it would have been nice if this could have been one of several options for each child though. i guess thats a fantasy land though.........

when i was in hs we didn't really read current fiction as a class project that was reserved for extra credit........

it's the kind of topic that really has to be handled properly. i don't know what the best way to handle the topic of rape is at 14 yrs old but i don't know that english class is the best place for it.

that said i wouldn't keep my kiddo from reading anything they wanted to read but this is not a choice her son is making, this sis something that is being assigned.

what would the alternate assignment be? maybe a different book by the same author?
post #90 of 128
What would you like to see your son reading?

What was his reaction to having to opt out?



Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyofmany View Post
I think it'a wrong to discuss sexual asault and rape in a 9th grade classroom. That's my problem with it. I'm obviously not as free of a thinker as most here, and I believe such things shouldn't be discussed in school.
When and where then?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyofmany View Post
I'm still not allowing my son to read it. That's that. I'm not posting or reading anymore posts to this thread. I was looking for support, but instead got attacked and put down.

I have changed my views about MDC as well. Maybe it isn't the place for me.
Hmmm....
post #91 of 128
Okay, so my curiosity was totally piqued, and since I was IN the library posting yesterday, I grabbed the book. It's a little longer than a two hour read, but just barely. I started it at 1:30 and with several interruptions (including laundry and cooking supper!), finished it just before hubby got home from work (4:30).

IMO, the rape scene is not graphic at all (it says he "hurt her" and describes non-specific pain and blood in her mouth from him holding his hand over it) - and the word rape is not even mentioned until the last quarter of the book. Someone who just picked up the book and started reading might not even figure it out until more than halfway through.

I like that the people who HELP the protaganist the most are other men (her art teacher, the lacrosse team) - it doesn't paint all males as evil.

I would absolutely give this to my 12 1/2 year old sister to read.
post #92 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyofmany View Post
I think it'a wrong to discuss sexual asault and rape in a 9th grade classroom. That's my problem with it. I'm obviously not as free of a thinker as most here, and I believe such things shouldn't be discussed in school.
I was raped when I was in 9th grade by an older, popular classmate. When things came to light everyone was terrible to me and the effects of that have impacted my life to this day. I WISH people had talked about rape so that maybe my peers had been able to relate to me and accept me.
post #93 of 128
I just have to chime in, even if OP isn't listening anymore.

By 14, I was already a rape victim for 3 years. And now, at the 'ripe old age' of 22, I've been a rape victim for 11 years.

In high school (which for me, wasn't all that long ago), we read The Scarlet Letter, To Kill A Mockingbird, and other books that dealt with adult subject matter. There was no giggling, no mocking the material. Even at a young age (9th grade for TKAM, 10th for TSL), we understood the severity of these subjects, and they were approached by both teacher and student with great sensitivity.

And I know I wasn't the only girl in class so painfully identifying with some of the characters in some of the books we read. Speaking as a young assault victim, it really makes you feel... less alone.
post #94 of 128
I'm so sorry this happened to you, seeingstars and Redifer I was older when I was raped, but that assault took the life of my first daughter. At some point, I have to have this discussion with my children- they know I was assaulted before she died, but at some point I worry that specifics are going to come up.
post #95 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyto3girls View Post
I was in the 9th grade when I was date raped The guy who did it bragged to the whole school about popping my cherry and I got labeled a slut. No one believed me, or they all thought I asked for it, because I had lied to my parents about where I was and went to his house with two other couples when I knew his parents were not home. Yes, appropriate/relevent material for 9th grade
I'm sorry that happened to you. In 8th grade at my school, there was a girl who was supposedly such a slut because it was said that while drunk she offered to have sex with a whole line up of guys. At the time the word rape was never mentioned, it was just that she was a slut. Reading a book in English class that referred to rape would not be the first time students heard of rape, it might just be the first time they understood it was different from consensual sex.

I understand people want to pretend if they don't share real information with kids it keeps them safe - but it is the exact opposite. It keeps them ignorant and unable to properly understand and interpret their experience.

And, to the original poster, I seriously can't believe you didn't even read the book first. To single your kid out and exclude them and not even take the time to read the book. I can think of so many age appropriate books from To Kill a Mockingbird to I know why the caged bird sings, that include themes of sexual violence.
post #96 of 128
While I can't say I would never censor reading material (I have with my youngers on occasion), I do think that by 14, most kids are ready to choose their own reading material and handle what they read.

That said, last year, when my oldest was 12 and newly arrived from Ethiopia, I did opt out of a book her class was reading in 6th grade. Knowing my daughter and her history and her then-current emotional state, I didn't think that reading that book about that subject matter at school would serve her well at that time.

dm
post #97 of 128
Quote:
Due to its controversial subject matter, Speak has often been challenged. In the Platinum Edition of Speak, released 2006, Anderson spoke out against censorship. At the end of the novel, after an interview regarding the content of the book, Anderson wrote: “But censoring books that deal with difficult, adolescent issues does not protect anybody. Quite the opposite. It leaves kids in the darkness and makes them vulnerable. Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance. Our children cannot afford to have the truth of the world withheld from them."
I would absolutely let my children read this book and I would read the book at the same time so that it could be discussed in the home.
post #98 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyofmany View Post
What do you think? Am I over-reacting as usual? Has anyone here read that book?
Yes. I think you're overreacting. I think a classroom--where a teacher can guide discussion, where there's a "story" to focus on, is a far better place to discuss this issue that in the hallways, where kids might be dealing with innuendo and rumors about real people and where there is no adult mediating. The latter is already certainly happening. So balancing it with the former, especially with a sensitive and well-written book as a touchstone, seems like it would only be beneficial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by llamalluv View Post

When I was 12 or 13, I read the entire "Flowers in the Attic" series - checked it out at the public library and read them. Those have rape, incest, and murder, and I don't want to have sex with my sisters because of it.
I read those when I was 9! I assure you I didn't turn into a deviant. I also remember needing my mom to sign a sheet for me before my teacher would let me check out the Catcher in the Rye from the library when I was 10.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
While I can't say I would never censor reading material (I have with my youngers on occasion), I do think that by 14, most kids are ready to choose their own reading material and handle what they read.
I agree. I think 14 is certainly old enough to make one's own choices about reading material. If I were the OP, I would ask my son about it before censoring. And if I was 14, and my mom tried to dictate what I could or couldn't read, I would be extremely angry (and go read the book on my own, naturally).
post #99 of 128
I just remembered our class read "To Kill a Mockingbird" in the 8th grade.

Mommy68, if you were making a stink at my high school over such a relevant and IMPORTANT topic, I would make a larger stink, mostly to get you out of my kid's education.
post #100 of 128
Quote:
Mommy68, if you were making a stink at my high school over such a relevant and IMPORTANT topic, I would make a larger stink, mostly to get you out of my kid's education.
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