Neil Gaiman’s NEVERWHERE removed by New Mexico school district

Well, this is kind of weird. . .

Especially given the fact that most teenagers in the 10th grade have likely been using the F-word quite liberally for years now, and many of them have had sex at that age (close to 40% according to some American studies) and/or have access to free porn on the internet on a daily basis.

This from

A New Mexico school district has at least temporarily removed Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere from its lone high school following an objection to the fantasy novel’s “inappropriate” content.” The book has been part of the 10th-grade English curriculum in 2004.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports that Nancy Wilmott, whose daughter was reading the novel as part of an assignment, was offended by a four-paragraph passage on Page 86 that “graphically describes an adulterous sexual encounter between a married man and a single woman in which the F-word is used three times, along with a brief description of groping of one’s anatomy.”


“I reviewed the language personally. I can see where it could be considered offensive,” Alamogordo Public Schools Superintendent George Straface told the Daily News. “The F-word is used. There is a description of a sexual encounter that is pretty descriptive, and it’s between a married man and a single woman. Although kids can probably see that on TV anytime they want, we are a public school using taxpayer dollars.”

English teacher Pam Thorp wasn’t as agreeable, telling the newspaper, “I cannot and will not condone the censorship this parent is promoting. The implication that we are careless or irresponsible simply is not true. Presenting challenging material of merit that may contain some foul language or mature situations, in a sensitive and academic manner, is part of our responsibility to our students in order to engage them in evaluating the human condition.”

Follow this link to read the full report.

I have a problem with censorship such as this. As far as I'm concerned, 10th graders have reached the age where they are supposedly mature enough to learn how to drive. To maintain that those same boys and girls cannot handle a few profanities and a man groping a woman (you can hear much worst and see more in most rap/hip-hop videos) is ludicrous.

Although I've been an avid readers since my early years, like most of my classmates I don't have any fond memories of the crappy stuff they forced us to read in high school. Which is why, unfortunately, most kids grow up hating books and stop reading anything besides the newspaper by the time they reach adulthood. Neil Gaiman is exactly what any high school reading curriculum needs to help teenagers fall in love with books. . .

1 commentaires:

Rebecca said...

At 10th grade our class was reading "A rose for Emily" by William Faulkner, and by 12th I was reading the Color Purple and a Brave New World-and many other interesting books with some pretty adult language and situations.

I wonder what the rest of the reading curriculum is like, if they're making a fuss about this. I mean, I think it's ok for the girl to be react and be upset by literature, but I think it's a bad choice to pull the book.