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School District Yanks Dictionaries Over Sex Term

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CBS 13: A Southern California school district has pulled dictionaries from classrooms because a parent complained when a child came across the term "oral sex."

District officials said Friday that the Menifee Union School District -- which serves 9,000 kindergartners through eight graders in Riverside County -- is forming a committee to consider a permanent classroom ban of the Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.

A memo from Assistant Superintendent Karen Valdes acknowledged it is a respected resource but district officials found that "a number of referenced words are age-inappropriate."

Some parents and free-speech advocates said the district is overreacting.

Peter Scheer, executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition says "common sense seems to be lacking in this school."

Menifee is a city of about 67,000 people 80 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

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9 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jeff January 24, 2010, 10:34 AM

This is ridiculous.

Nick January 24, 2010, 10:34 AM

This is the most obscenely stupid thing I have ever heard. I am completely speechless. I can’t believe people went THIS far to avoid having the sex talk with their children.

Anonymous January 24, 2010, 10:43 AM

this is why stupid people shouldnt procreate

Some Guy January 24, 2010, 11:23 AM

A collegiate dictionary has terms inappropriate for kindergarten? Shocking.

Although even beyond that, it’s only a problem (and I use that term loosely) if the child is looking up words they shouldn’t.

Wendi January 24, 2010, 11:36 AM

So dumb, I am sure that the child was looking up terms like that. He would’nt just come across it. Parents need to get a grip and talk to their kids and quit blaming everyone else.

Lisa R. January 24, 2010, 11:52 AM

On the west coast, where they removed the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, they are yanking dictionaries from classrooms because if a child is precocious and looks up sexual terminology he/she will find “oral sex”??!? Is there a picture demonstrating it?! No. You can’t be liberal & conservative at the same time. You can’t believe in free sex but then not want to talk to your children about sex. I don’t want to talk to my 6-yr-old about oral sex, but if he/she was looking it up in a dictionary at school, I’d have a few questions! And not for the school!

Sara January 24, 2010, 12:12 PM

They banned the dictionary?

Judy Blume will never survive

Anonymous January 24, 2010, 6:08 PM

I have lived in California all my life and Under God is still in the pledge. We even said Under God when we said it at Pee Wee Herman’s show.

The oral sex thing is funny. My 3rd grade son was scolded for showing another kid the word genitals in dictionary.

allena January 24, 2010, 6:42 PM

Censorship is ALWAYS overreacting.

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