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Column: Parents protesting ‘pornographic’ scene in Picoult's 'Nineteen Minutes' ignoring context

  • **FILE** Atria Books originally provided this undated file photo of Jodi Picoult, who has authored a new novel, "Nineteen Minutes."(AP Photo/Atria Books,Kate Powers)

    **FILE** Atria Books originally provided this undated file photo of Jodi Picoult, who has authored a new novel, "Nineteen Minutes."(AP Photo/Atria Books,Kate Powers)

  • **FILE** Atria Books originally provided this undated file photo of Jodi Picoult, who has authored a new novel, "Nineteen Minutes."(AP Photo/Atria Books,Kate Powers)
Nineteen Minutes

Nineteen Minutes

I don’t know whether you’ve heard, but something upsetting happens on page 313 of the book Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult.

A Gilford father was arrested at a local school board meeting last week after starting a shouting match about the way the school assigned the book. He and a number of other parents – in collaboration with right-wing Laconia activist Josh Youseff – called the scene pornographic.

They’re not the first to protest, and I doubt they’ll be the last.

Parents are upset about the phrase “semen, sticky and hot, pooled on the carpet beneath her.” Polite news reports call it a scene of “graphic teen sex.” But the protesters either haven’t read the book or choose, for political points and sensational headlines, to suppress the full context.

Because the scene on page 313 is not sex. It is a rape. It is the nadir of an abusive relationship woven into the narrative of the book.

Nineteen Minutes follows several residents of a small New Hampshire town in the years, months and hours before and after a school shooting.

We meet Josie, a pretty but shy, intelligent teenager accepted suddenly into the popular crowd having caught the eye of their leader, a star athlete named Matt.

Another character describes Matt as the “uber boyfriend.” But to someone who’s seen a friend wither in an abusive relationship, Matt sets off all the alarm bells.

He demeans Josie, subtly telling her she’s fat, and making lewd comments to his friends in front of her.

He threatens to kill himself if she leaves him.

More than 300 pages into the book, the reader and Josie both know this relationship is not healthy. But Josie is a teenage girl who believes that without this relationship, she’s nothing.

On page 313, the two had been drinking at a party, and they begin to make out. Josie has always insisted they use condoms when they have sex. This time, Matt doesn’t listen.

She tries to roll away from him as he tries to enter her without a condom. She says, “wait.” “He clamped his hand over her mouth and drove harder and harder.”

This is not pornographic teen sex.

This is rape.

The point of this scene isn’t that unprotected sex is amazing, and teenagers everywhere should go out and try it right now, as some parents seem to say.

But the lesson also isn’t that Josie shouldn’t have been drinking. The lesson isn’t that she shouldn’t have ever had sex with her boyfriend before this night. The lesson is that even someone you trust can violate you. And the lesson is, that is never your fault.

The lesson is that anyone – even a smart girl, even a girl from a good family – can be in an abusive relationship and anyone can be manipulated into staying in one.

Yes, the Gilford teacher should have sent parents a notification about the book and the choice of alternate material for their children. But in the full context of this story, why would parents want an alternative? Why not use this book to talk to our sons and daughters about the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships?

It’s apparently easier to work the public into a fever about teenagers learning that semen is sticky than it is to tell them their bodies are their own, their lives have intrinsic value and anyone who hurts them – physically, sexually, or emotionally – does not love them.

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or spalermo@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)

Legacy Comments50

Well, she has success as an author, although her picture here is NOT a reasonable likeness of her current appearance, however it is flattering. I say that I see no necessity in using this book. It simply extends the pop culture decay that we experience every day in our present lives. It diminishes the beauty and natural enjoyment of intercourse and really borders on forced rape. I don't see where this is appropriate.

Well Yeah G Carson, you question what I deem literature. Evidently my opinions are now fact and blanket statements. Nice touch by the way. And you question my judgement in regards to an author I read. Here is a suggestion. If you are going to try and trash me, in regards to what I think is literature, I suggest you read this author. Then we can have a logical chat about how she writes, what kinds of scenes she is fond of describing, and basically if her works are in fact trash, porno creative, or literature. Otherwise you are no different than the person who tells a parent how to raise their child when they never have parented themselves. No deception with the incident about the student who shaved her head by the way. I was under the impression that public charters and private charters are not the same. I thought public charters were funded with tax dollars, had to abide by public school rules somewhat and were tuition free and had to admit all students. Not so with private charters, I believe. I thought there was a difference.

Again, re read your posts. You were not stating opinion you were stating what could only be construed as facts. No, I don't question your opinion on anything relating to this topic. I stated that your view of what is literature is no better than mine or anyone else's for that matter. You made it personal. I am not trashing you, also you really miss the point. The point here is strictly about the school district not giving notice to this batch of parents. It appears that they have notified parents since the book was adopted and failed for some reason to do that here. You said it was intentional, I said it was probably an oversight. Whether this book with a brief passage is truly pornography or not for the scope of this issue is also irrelevant. That issue is between the school district and curriculum director and with the affected parents. I am not telling anyone how to parent, I have put two girls thru the Bow Schools and my wife is a middle school teacher. What I have experienced and have seen has had a shocking effect on my views when it comes to how public schools are viewed. Why you mentioned that 9 year old with the head shaved baffled me. As for Charter Schools there are probably a difference but the whole reasoning behind the whole concept was to present an approved curriculum in their own manner. So let's not digress too far. Just how did Josh Youseff get into the picture unless it was to instigate and polarize the situation. This is not about an author, literature or indicting public schools, this is about an issue that shouldn't be this political.

It is not sex because it is Rape. Let's apply that logic to other crimes. It wasn't money in my wallet because I was mugged. It wasn't a computer and jewelry in my home because it was a burglary. It wasn't a child who died because it was a murder. I'm sorry, but the premise of this article is just plain wrong. Yes, I too have heard for years that Rape is about violence and power rather than about sex. That may well be true as an analysis of the motivation for the perpetrator. But it is not true about the damage done to the victim. Victims of Rape will forever have their sex lives affected by the experience. The whole reason it is Rape is considered a crime is because of the damage it does to the sexual psyche of the victim. And the reason Rape is considered to be one of the worst of crimes is because the damage it does is to one of the most powerful forces in existence for living a joyful and fulfilling life. That also leads to the reason having high school students read such passages is so controversial. The reason why this causes such a ruckus and the gun violence does not is this. Gun violence (and many other things that are considered "wrong") can be read about with experiencing it. One can read about gun violence without having any holes in the flesh. But it is impossible for most people to read explicit descriptions of sex without having some level of "sexual experience" while doing so. This is especially true to those who's physical experience is "little" or "none." Early sexual experiences have a profound affect on all subsequent experiences. So it is important that the passage in this book not be a formative experience for high school students.

These have to be the WORST examples of "analogy" that I've ever seen.

Truly.

Some of the comments have related to what a child should or should not be exposed to when reading. I am speaking from my own experience. I was lucky to have a teacher for a mother and she taught me to read before I ever went to school. The thing that may be unusual is that she never told me what I should or should not read. Went to grade school in Northfield and the library was across the street. I used to sneak over at recess and when I had gone through the childrens books the librarian would let me sneak into the adult stacks. I just read in whatever direction the books took me , from Terhunes books about dogs ( I have a Border Collie name Lad even today) to Arthur Miller ,to Isreals fight for independence , to segregation ( I had a Half sister who grew up in the deep south with the set of values that were prevelant at the time in the south). When I had questions, both my parents would give me their Ideas and opinions but never told me what I had to believe. I needed to figure that out for myself. The values they gave me were their actions (both good and bad), not necessarily what they told me to do. I realized last year,when my Mum died at age 96 that the greatest gift in life she had given me was Curiosity and the tools I needed to act on it. Going back to the original thrust of the article , I dont agree with the parent on his wanting to restrict reading material, I will defend to the death his right to publicly state what he believes whether I agree or not. I guess what I am saying is that with some limited guidance ,most kids given the ability to think and reason for themselves will eventually do the right thing.

That is it exactly. With their heads stuck constantly in electronics parents should encourage reading in their kids. Especially books that unsettle their minds. I remember in the 50's all the girls in Catholic school passing around a copy of Peyton Place because the nuns would not even let us say the word "sex." Probably more kids are dying to read this book now that the parents have kicked up such a fuss.

You never read any of this author's books GCarson, yet you question what I deem literature, priceless. I was the one that stated that the NY Times Best Seller List is based on sales not you. Read your sentences in your post leading up to "The NY Times must be wrong" Your post gave the impression that the Times is a judge of what is literature, not me. All this, from you and you have not even read this author. Priceless. This is how the left roll. The parent is a loud mouth lawyer looking to make trouble. He has a friend that is a Rep, so that means it is political. The passage was about rape, so that makes it okay that the description is basically porn. And the most idiotic of all, for me, is that this parent went over the 2 minute time allotted, so he deserved to be arrested. That is like defending the school that suspended the 8 year old student for shaving her head to support her friend going through chemo. She broke the dress code. And you folks wonder why many have a low opinion of our schools. And you wonder why parents want vouchers and are home schooling. Yeah it is all about politics, NOT!

First off, whether I have read the book or not isn't relevant to the issue. The book was chosen for use 7 years ago, with no issues that I am aware of. I think you need to reread your postings not me. I took issue with not with any opinion of yours but with what you were claiming as facts. Not sending out a parental notice was intentional and that this book is pornographic and not literature. There are more instances of sex and violence in the Bible. Is this particular brief passage critical to the message of the book, probably not but it is also not something that renders the book as pornographic. You made a blanket statement that the book is not literature, your opinion not fact. I did not advocate that the book was literature, just that you were not the be all, say on on what is or isn't literature. Why are your shorts in a knot because I mentioned the NY Times best seller list, for practical purposes it is the most prominent list today. The point was that this is not some obscure book. Now to get past the fuzzy logic here. He was asked to leave for being disruptive and arguing with another parent. After which he was charged with disorderly conduct. So no, he was not arrested for talking over 2 minutes, he was arrested for breaking the rules and being disruptive and combative. Now the other comment on what is wrong with our public schools - the girl was a student at a tuition free Charter School, not the regular public school system. In closing, this is how the left rolls?? By pointing out cases where opinion is presented as fact, you are politicizing this along with right-wing Laconia activist Josh Youseff. Don't push the politicizing on to those you think are democrats.

The book should be an assigned work in every high school.There is a fixation on anything involving sex, and on blocking dissemination of information on sex. We saw it with the ridiculous abstinence only policies of a decade ago, and it still surfaces today. Jodi writes on difficult issues. She's wrote to all of us, showed how these incidents often arise (coincidentally, I started reading the book the day of the Virginia Tech shooting, before I learned of it.) If you sanitise what kids see all around them, paint in some preferred adult packaging, then it loses impact. Kids want and deserve the truth. They need us to arm them with the best education possible, not gloss over things we personally find uncomfortable.

Preferred adult packaging. Yeah, we would like material presented to actually be age appropriate and not trash. Call us crazy, but we actually think it is up to us as parents to decide when to address issues with our kids and at what age. Oh wait, it is not up to parents anymore. The schools are the parents. Our schools are not only adept at teaching our kids the basics, they also can parent better. No wonder there is a 2 minute time limit on parents speaking at board meetings. Their opinions are not welcomed or needed. What next, 2 minute progress report meetings with our kids teachers. Lets add another excuse for this incident. The parent is just too conservative and wants to hide sex from his daughter. He is a dumb parent. The school has to step in and take over the role of parenting. Yeah a parent who happens to be a lawyer is dumb. Maybe you can explain to me how he got through law school if he happens to be so dumb. I thought you lefties were all about folks who are educated being the experts on everything. You know, the Elites. Evidently that only applies to the elites who have a D after their name.

I agree with Ms. Palermo, an educated, trained journalist and critical thinker. I also agree with points made by Amanda Marcotte, a feminist free lance journalist here: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/nineteen-minutes-jodi-picoult-new-hampshire in an article titled: "Why are the Book Banning Crusaders Obsessed with Sex But Not Violence?"

I agree with what Mr Baer said..." no one wants to ban the book"... its clearly stated in the video...

Ah yes, Amanda Marcotte. Maybe you can explain to me lilac what she meant by this statement. "Baer, in full blown, overly entitled white guy mode" What is white guy mode? Do you have to be white to be in that mode? If Baer happened to be black, would she have stated "Black Guy Mode". I was under the impression that when you use skin color to describe a person in a negative way, that meant you were racist. And her article was definitely negative in regards to Baer, and she even touched on religious folks hiding sex from their kids. So basically she is bigoted against white guys and folks who happen to be religious. I have heard a lot of men state that feminist hate white guys. I have also heard a lot of women state that feminists hate stay at home moms and women that are religious or happen to be conservative. It appears that maybe they are right.

Clearly you're hearing lots of things.

You ask what is "overly entitled white guy mode"? See the Wolfboro police commissioner on that one.

Still does not answer my question. Why put skin color in any phrase? If anybody ever wrote overly entitled black guy mode, the left would be screaming racism. I have seen the term old white guys also used in regards to Rep lawmakers in WA. Not okay to use skin color period.

Poor white men, they have been down trodden though out history. No wonder they have decided to fight back.

Yes, you feel that "white men" have had it too good through history so in this generation you want to take out your hatred of them and you will "show them"......ohhhhh Damn them.

I've never read any of the books authored by Picoult, but I find the subject matter just a bit too calculatedly trendy and topical. The school erred big time in not sending home a note that this book would be used. In my mind there are too many great books out there to bother with one that is merely topical--as important as that topic may be. That said, I think the father involved was clearly grandstanding the issue as well. Nonfiction books on the same topic could be used to address the same issues of date rape and bullying. I'm reminded of Thoreau's dictum: "Read the best books first, you may not have time to read them all."

??????? Did we just half agree on something??? Shocking

agreed

HD, I have always thought that you are one of the few folks on this forum that seems to have a lot of common sense and tends to be more of a centralist political wise. Your last two posts have changed my mind. The issue about Picoult in regards to her being a great author or if her writings are literature, is pretty evident by those of us that read her books. That is those of us that actually read all books, not just one genre. An educator should be able to know what literature is, what is age appropriate, and if in fact this author's books should be included at our schools. If they do not, they are not doing their job. Everything in regards to education these days seems to be bad news. Some of it I cannot fathom. The 8 year old girl who shaves her head to support her best friend who is going through chemo gets suspended for breaking the dress code. A kid reading a bible in his free reading time gets bullied by his teacher as if he was reading porno. Field trip to a Mosque. The list goes on. If this is an attempt by educators to get more parents involved, I hate to tell ya , but it is having the opposite result. . It is actually making parents have less confidence and trust in our public schools. That is why they want vouchers and are home schooling. Every day there is a new incident at school and more headlines of teachers getting too involved with their students. The fact that these issues are ignored by educators is very scary. Next on the agenda of angry parents will be Common Core. So get out your book of excuses, because that program will be causing a lot of problems. You know that program that has not been explained to parents. The same program that teaches critical thinking and will be hard for teachers to implement. Those would be the same teachers that have struggled with the basics. My guess is that critical thinking will be quite a hurdle for them. As will addressing the parents when they see what common core actually is.

Bunny, bunny, bunny . . . please read carefully. I DO NOT THINK THAT "NINETEEN MINUTES" IS APPROPRIATE FOR FRESHMAN IN HIGH SCHOOL." There, does that satisfy you. If you want, you could go to a certain NH conservative "bliggity-blog" and see a post from me which says exactly the same thing from several days ago. Neither myself, nor my English-teacher wife are particularly fond of Picoult. She's a pop-novelist who uses trendy topis and sensationalism in her writing. She's no Shakespeare. Heck, she's no MAYA ANGELOU. Gilford messed up big-time by not sending out the letter to parents in a timely manner. And there are countless other books they could've chosen that could've met the learning targets for the course. But all THAT has nothing to do with the issue of what Mr. Baer did at the meeting. He was trying to use a public meeting as his own bully pulpit for his pet issue. That is wrong. I stand by that belief. If you want to cross me off your list of "CM posters with common sense and centrist views"(which is no doubt pitifully short at this stage of the game) then so be it. The fact is that this story touches on many issues and many themes. I have opinions about all of them, and I'd like to think their informed by critical thinking about the totality of the issues involved in the story.

Rabbit, you seem to going after "The Blow an Issue Out of Proportion" award. This parent was ranting about not being able to keep on speaking after the predefined time allotment. From the 4 points you noted several things are evident, first and foremost is that you have a very high opinion of yourself, that coupled with a basic lack of knowledge on the subject. Put that all together and we have the typical armchair quarterback, expert on what is and isn't literature, expert on what is happening nationwide and an expert on what others think. Opinions are fine but you try and pass them off as reality. This is a 100% manufactured issue, the book has been used by the school district since 2007 with no issues. The book while dealing with a sensitive topic can be uncomfortable for parents. However as we all are familiar the subject matter is something that is happening nationwide. The only issue here is that a notice was not sent, you say it was a planned omission. Why would a school not send out a notice if that was common practice? Let me think, could they do it in hope of causing a potential issue? Or perhaps, maybe it was an oversight? Do any of us know if notices were sent out in the previous 7 years? My biggest complaint about your assumptions lies with your blanket statement that this is not literature, the NY Times Best Seller List must be wrong. This isn't politics, don't try spinning it that way. This is a case of a loud mouth lawyer not following the rules, nothing more, nothing less.

Do any of us know if notices were sent out in the previous 7 years? ..the answer to that is yes...Better question..when was the last time a 2 minute was used at a Gilford school board meeting....even better question....when was the last time a police officer was present at one??

"Put that all together and we have the typical armchair quarterback, expert on what is and isn't literature, expert on what is happening nationwide and an expert on what others think." BINGO! See it all the time. Parents who ask, "Why should my kid hafta read Shakespeare?" "Who needs to learn about poetry?" Why is health class important?" These are invariably the same kind of people who also ask things like, "Why did my kid get a failing grade" or say things like, "I'm gonna sue the school!" It's always about EVERYTHING ELSE. All other factors are to blame. Responsibility/blame is never left at the feet of their kid or themselves.

G Carson you seem to have taken your talking points from Tillie and Bruce. Tillie used that high horse statement many times and Bruce thinks that everyone is not dealing in reality, connects everything to politics, and anybody that disagrees with him basically is a troll. Not exactly folks to emulate. Bringing up the NY Times as the source of what is deemed great writing or great authors is pretty lame also. A Best Seller List is based on what sells, has nothing to do with quality. The NY Times caters to Progressives period no matter what the issue is. Hardly a source worth citing As far as bashing me goes, you seem to be doing a lot more of that lately with all posters that disagree with your opinions. Instead of debating all aspects of the issue, you zero in on one. That is deliberate, a progressive tactic to change the issue at hand. As far as my opinion on Picoult, I have read her books. They are not literature. The fact that you defend this book on any level, questions your knowledge of literature not mine. Our schools are in trouble nationwide. Progressives refuse to address the issues why our schools are failing. Instead we get a very long list of excuses why teachers cannot teach. Even to the point of taking a cue from their kids. I failed the spelling test because the test was too hard. Not fair! You are running out of excuses for everything. You accept incompetence and make excuses for it. That is sad. It is also based on your politics as opposed to fixing anything. This incident is one of many that seems to be happening in our schools nationwide. And if you believe this is all about a parent wanting to start trouble, then I guess that explains why schools believe they can parent better than parents. You know, the same folks who complain parents are not involved. I guess they only mean the parents that agree with them, not the parents that do not. They get 2 minutes.

Let me try not to focus on one issue. 1) your opinion on literature is just yours, yet you state it's not literature. I used the NY Times list to emphasis it is popular book to many. You say it's not literature I pointed out you are not the definitive source. I strongly doubt you and I read the same authors, doesn't make your choice better, any other claim is just ego. You say I am a supporter of the book, never read it or her. It really doesn't matter what you think or I think. The book has been used for 7 years with no known issues. It may not be All Quite on the Western Front, but it does address an issue that seems to have effected our schools nationwide. You say I attack others opinions because they disagree with mine, again not accurate. PBR doesn't present opinions, he claims to be stating FACT. Itsa, I just don't know, blanket statements that really are off the wall, a PBR wanna bee. You had been a more rational poster but in my opinion you have gone off the rails with your statements, let's see how about the school deliberately failed to send out notices. Just what did you base that on, pray tell?? I need no excuses, I don't make arbitrary false claims and call them fact. I personally really don't care what others think, as long as they think. Thinking is in short supply these days, it's much easier to take someone else's word when it backs your belief. So in a nutshell since I used the NY Times list it apparently upset you. I am not running out of excuses since I have never made any. I am a firm believer in learning from history and history setting precedence. If I point out that other presidents have done the same thing and never had a problem people take that as an excuse. No excuse, just historical fact. I would be more than happy to debate you but this forum is difficult. Name the time and a bar and your on. You have my name.

"She couldn’t remember ever feeling so heavy, as if her heart were beating between her legs. She clawed at Matt’s back to bring him closer. “‘Yeah,’ he groaned, and her pushed her thighs apart. And then suddenly Matt was inside her, pumping so hard that she scooted backward on the carpet, burning the backs of her legs." I dont know how many rape victims claw at their rapists backs to bring them closer..

There is a widespread phenomenon - when a women knows she is going to be raped and there is nothing she can do to stop it, she will often stop fighting/protesting and just do whatever she can to get it over with. It's especially true when the rapist is someone she knows or is in a relationship with. So yes, a lot of rape victims have clawed at their rapists' backs to bring them closer. This approach also reduces the chances that she will be beaten as well as raped.

Why is this high school reading material? What happened to the great books? At my kids' school in Manchester, they read Tale of Two Cities, 1984, Shakespeare and To Kill a Mockingbird. My hunch is Gilford High has given up on these because they're too hard to teach. Give them something cheap with salacious details. They'll read it, snicker and be more than happy to talk about it. And their notion of life will be school shootings and date rape.

Since neither of us can speak for the Gilford School District, one might hazard a guess that this material may have been chosen because of practical relevance. Excuse me if I don't share your opinion on the students notions. They don't need the book to be exposed to this, they can just as easily get it from the nightly news.

Mark, contrary to what others think about this book I believe you are looking at this wrong. It is my impression that this book was not used as general literature. It appears this was part of an attempt to broach a tough subject that is becoming a scourge in our schools. I don't believe it is a new issue, just one people are more open to talk about. Look at the numbers 1 out of 5 college women have been victims. We have to start some time perhaps as Hunter said this age is too young but that doesn't seem to be the underlying focus of this outrage. It's all about the notice. It's not a question of being hard to teach, personally if it were the intention to teach this as literature then the titles you mentioned would be far easier to teach than this uncomfortable one.

The real problem here is not the book, or its contents. The real problem here is that a parent who obviously loves his daughter was arrested for violating a 2 minute rule at a school board meeting. Sorry..thats just wrong wrong wrong here in the USA. The school board made a mistake, and should have allowed this parent and every parent their say on the matter.

No No No GWTW. Your cherry picking. Do you actually expect the school board to allow parents to speak till they are finished? The meeting would drag out for hours. That cannot happen. Two minutes is plenty of time for these educators to get what the parent is saying. My kids have not been in school for a long time. Are the meetings with the teachers also limited in time? Was wondering if parents had a limited amount of time to voice their opinions when they go for progress reports also. And you are correct. Every parent should have been able to voice their concern. After all, these are the same folks who want to encourage parent participation right! Maybe not. Seems that the message here is you got 2 minutes, go over, get arrested. Wonder if that will happen when the issues with Common Core come up. And believe me they will. Looks like plenty of off duty officers will be finding another way to make some extra money working school board meetings. Common Core is the ACA of education. Most parents have no clue what it is. Just the carrot sticks fed to them by those pushing it.

I am still shocked at this. I was waiting to see how this would be spun by the left, and they delivered. I was a bit shocked about how lame their defense would be. But then it became clear of how they would defend this issue. The same tactics they use to defend any issue. Step 1-. Demonize the parent. His friend is probably a Glen Beck Clone. He is probably religious also, and most definitely conservative. He is also living in the 50's, so that brands him as a dumb parent who does not know how to parent. Step 2- Take the attention away from the book. Do not hold anybody accountable for the fact that this book is not literature, any educator would know that, and put forth the message that this is nothing more than the Reps wanting to attack our schools yet again. Whoever selected this book is incompetent, period and should not be teaching anything. Step 3 - Ignore the fact that this is happening nation wide. Not just with books, but all kinds of issues going on in our classrooms. Demonize the parents, hold no educator responsible. Step 4 -. Put forth the message that schools want parents involved. Never put forth the fact, that parents involvement is only welcomed if they agree with the educators. And you folks wonder why parents have lost trust and confidence in our public schools. Now teachers are experts on parenting. Stupid me was under the impression that they were taking on all these roles to fill in for lousy parents who were not doing their job. Now I believe that in their eyes, all parents have no clue how to parent. That is why it is up to the schools to take on that role. Cripes, even Sarah Palermo is an expert on parenting.

Parents should be glad that kids will read anything that is more than 140 characters.

The irony of the liberals being offended by the name "Washington Redskins" while dismissing a parents objection to porno in a book taught by the liberals is just priceless

This all makes sense now, knowing that Youseff was involved. The whole thing was probably contrived for publicity. Usually parents that feel this strongly about keeping their kids away from anything that might contaminate them will home school.

You really should watch Baers daughter speak to the board, it was...well..what's the word??

Sad and pathetic?

Youseff . . . a serial misogynist . . . irony anyone???

still pushing that meme?? was falsely accusing him of molesting his child losing its appeal??

WOW, I am speechless!

Just what we need a 20 something, amateur journalist telling parents "no big deal".

Just what we need: a professional scold calling somebody an amateur journalist!

Why it is not 1950 anymore.

What I find disturbingly ironic is this: Nineteen Minutes depicts TWO heinous acts. One is a rape. The other is a school shooting. The former is at least based(if only partly) on a natural part of all human existence - sex. The latter is in no way a natural, normal part of human life. It is a terrible aberration of violence and destruction. Yet, only the former scene is eliciting a negative response from the community. No one is batting an eye over the latter. That speaks volumes about what is wrong with our society. And I'm a gun owner who's saying this!

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