Censors in the Classroom: The Mind Benders

By Edward B. Jenkinson | Go to book overview

6 TARGETS OF THE CENSORS

It is tempting to write only the word everything and call it chapter 6. If it would not be dismissed by readers as facetious, that one word chapter would summarize the targets of the censors. For no textbook, regardless how bland and inoffensive, escapes all potential censors. At least one parent objected to every one of the 325 textbooks that were recommended for adoption in Kanawha County. When textbooks are submitted for adoption in Texas, few do not become subjects of bills of particulars submitted by citizens who think the books should not be adopted.

But the targets of today's censors go far beyond textbooks. They include magazines, library books, dictionaries, teaching methods, homework assignments, films, pictures, and entire programs. Nothing is safe.

Dictionary definitions of the word bed frequently include "a place for lovemaking," "a marital relationship, with its rights and intimacies," and "to have sexual intercourse with."1 Perhaps most people in the United States would not find those definitions unusual or unnerving, but a sufficient number of

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