You might have missed it over the summer, because, well, you had better things to do, but there was a dust-up in the school system over summer reading because--surprise!--some parents didn't like the book. And what was so terribly objectionable about this book, Robopocalypse? Was it because, as reviewer Ron Charles of the Washington Post stated, "Even by the cornball standards of the original 'Battlestar Galactica,' this is a frakkin' disaster, a literary version of Windows Me -- much hyped but prone to crash"?
Um, no. It was because the book used the work "fuck." And it used that word, or some variation of it, 93 times, according to one parent who was enterprising enough to count. (We guess he really had nothing fun to do with his summer vacation.) This parent, one Sam Lee, was horrified that his poor, innocent 14-year-old son was being exposed to such horrific language, the likes of which are surely never heard around these parts, and he protested the book's inclusion on the summer reading list to Knox County Schools. KCS said they would subject the book to the official review of a panel to determine its appropriateness.
Well, the results are in, and for once in this town, the Christian conservatives lost their battle. According to WATE, the panel found the book's merits outweigh its use of terrible, awful language that no high schooler has ever uttered within the walls of a KCS building, for sure. The station reports:
"The decision was based on the fact that the novel enhances the STEM curriculum, an alternate read was and will continue to be provided, the book won an Alex Award from the American Library Association and the author's ability to reach reluctant readers through the work," said Hardin Valley Academy Principal Sallee Reynolds, in a written statement.
But the battle may not be over. Lee told the station he plans to appeal to the school board, and indeed, a number of like-minded parents are all up in arms about the situation on Facebook, urging their friends to contact their representatives on the school board and tell them that high schoolers should not be exposed to such offensive content. And yes, in case you were wondering, there is a large overlap with the group of parents who succeeded in getting Planned Parenthood kicked out of the county schools.
So if you aren't a fan of censorship or if you support the idea that teachers maybe have a better idea of what to teach in their classrooms than parents do, you might want to contact the school board yourself and give them a piece of your mind. Although we suppose eventually none of this will matter, once the robots come for us all.