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Charlie Courtland

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Warning: May Contain Dirty Little Words
By Charlie Courtland   
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2010

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Should school authorities pull the Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary from the classroom shelves because it contains offensive words?

 A hundred miles south of L.A., a school district is meeting to decide whether or not to ban the Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.  What?  That was my reaction too.  If a dictionary can get banned from a public school in the United States, then all books are in serious trouble.  Apparently, the book was immediately removed from classroom shelves when the content was deemed "age in-appropriate" for classes kindergarten through eighth grade.

The hysteria began with a parent complaint.  Supposedly, a man's child came across the words, "oral sex," while perusing the book.  However, the Superintendent claims this is not the sole reason for the removal, but after further investigation by school administrators, collectively the group discovered a number of referenced words they found offensive.

I imagine the book is full of offensive words all clearly defined so each student will learn the meaning and choose to use it or not.  If we print only the 'good' words, will this stop the use or rather, misuse of offensive words?  I think not!  To simply deny access to information is not education or responsible parental protection. 

Did the powers that be or rather make decisions for our education flunk government class?  There is something called the First Amendment that seems to be an appropriate card to toss upon the table in this situation.  It's the English Dictionary!  Are you kidding me?

Secondly, I must agree with the Huffington Post.  If we're burning the dictionaries then we should examine the curriculum for seventh grade America history and just skip over that offensive section about the Bill of Rights. 




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