Few things signal universal stupidity like banning books. In this case, Wesley Scroggins, an associate professor of management at Missouri State University is trying to ban the YA book Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.
To understand Scroggins, let’s look at a recent article he wrote:
It is time parents and taxpayers in this school district are informed about this material. For example, my review of the eighth-grade sex education curriculum revealed that children at the middle school are being introduced to concepts such as homosexuality, oral sex, anal sex and specific instructions on how to use a condom and have sex.
At 12 years of age, you will learn about the topics above from two sources – from peers or from academics. The information from peers will be, for the most part, wrong – and this is what Scroggins would like to limit kid’s education to. He’s apparently delusional, thinking that banning this information coming from teachers would mean kids never hearing about it at all – that the kid’s minds will remain pure and virginal. Again, Scroggins is delusional.
Sex education curriculum in the fourth grade includes topics on reproduction. Is this what parents and taxpayers in this community want their children exposed to in school? Is this how taxpayers want their tax money used?
So, at 10 years of age, according to Scroggins, kids will be completely unaware that they have a penis or vagina, and not be curious about what those body parts are for or how they function. Ignorance is fucking bliss in this guy’s world. Why educate? Keep kids dumb – they obviously can’t handle a body part they’ve been living with for a decade.
Which brings us back to the point of banning Speak. It covers topics obviously uncomfortable for Scroggins. It batters against his quaint self-made reality that boys and girls have no interest or questions about penises or vaginas – that girls don’t face sexual harassment or assaults by the age of 13. In Scroggins’ mind the best course of action is to ban a book and any discussion that might arise.
Of course you can help push back against this bullshit. Off of Laurie Halse Anderson’ own blog page:
I have already received incredible support on Facebook and in my inbox. Paul Hankins, an English teacher from Indiana, has started a Twitterfeed - #SpeakLoudly – where people can tweet their opinions. And my hero, Judy Blume, wrote to say she is bringing this nonsense to the attention of the National Council Against Censorship.
Spread the word and fight the ignorance.