Explicit Required Reading for 9th Grade Galena Students
Forcing Garbage Down Throats
Has the WCSD lost its mind? Have teachers fallen victim to moral relativism? Has the district’s English department forgotten they are selecting books for MINORS? It appears so. Many of Galena High School freshman English teachers are requiring their students to read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. This book is on the WCSD Approved List for Middle Schools. This book is explicit. A mother in the district was told by her ninth grader that the book “swears a lot”. She read the entire book and was horrified by what the students have been subjected to in the name of “literature”. Here are just a couple of examples of the pages and pages of disgusting and explicit language and behavior: (WARNING, this is explicit and doesn’t even include the swear words throughout the book)
Pg 18: “doesn’t go around biting women’s breasts anymore”
Pg 25-26: Talks at length about masturbation and “one thousand pictures of naked movie stars.”
Pg 48: di–, a–
Pg 52: pus–
Pg 64: N-word
Pg 92: “white boy genius having sex with a half breed Apple computer”
Pg 96-98: Boner. “I am rock hard” and “run through life with an erect penis”
Pg 115: White girls playing volleyball, white on white on white - outline of bra and panties like vanilla dessert. “I wanted to be her chocolate topping.”
Pg 125: “hands in her panties”
Pg 171: shows a cartoon comic mocking Jesus Christ (Tasteless bathroom humor)
Pg 173: “After Eugene’s funeral, I agree with her (referencing a greek writer whose character killed her own children)/ I could have easily killed myself, killed my mother and father…”
Pg 197: the word faggot (2 times)
Pg 201-202: Being hugged by a school counselor who is 50 years old and he got an erection (talks about it the whole page. His “physical reaction”)
Pg 225: the word “fag” (2 times). “Stick your dick inside knotholes?” he responds, “I stick my dick in the girl trees.”
Horrified? Now imagine that it is your 14 year old daughter or son reading about the disgusting and immoral habits of this author. What is even worse is this book, per WCSD, can be read in any middle school English class. So kids as young as 10 could be subjected to this depravity.
Sexual Harassment In the Book & Out of the Book
I am assuming this book’s aim is to teach empathy and to shine a gritty light on the hard life of someone with a different ethnic background. But empathy and understanding can come without subjecting innocent minds to pages of bigoted, phobic and sexually explicit material. And if we are trying to teach our children that sexual harassment is NOT ok, why are we having them study and pour over pages of material where the main character harasses?
Do we know much about this author that the English department is so keen to study? Well…SHOCKER!…Sherman Alexie has several allegations of sexual harassment pending against him. On March 5, 2018, multiple women reported that he made inappropriate comments or unwanted advances towards them. He even issued a statement saying he had “harmed people”. The American Indian Library Association rescinded its 2008 Best Young Adult Book Award from Alexie “to send an unequivocal message that these actions are unacceptable.”
This book is on the banned list for many schools around the nation. But not WCSD.
What Can Parents Do?!
When a Galena Administrator was pressed about the book, he admitted that he had not read it. He indicated that it is on the district’s approved list and that Galena has been studying the book for years (how has no one caught this?!?!). When read some of the explicit material he agreed he wouldn’t want his child reading it (and, let's be clear here. This isn't just a Galena High School problem. If it is happening at Galena, it is happening at other schools too.) He said he would address it with the English department, but asked that parents to contact the district and send emails to the following:
Kim Cuevas (ELA Facilitator)
Kendra Fox (Secondary Education)
We can no longer offer our blind trust to teachers or the district. It is clear they aren’t always doing what is best for our children. It is time to get loud and to demand more information and accountability. If you, the parent, would not be ok with someone coming into your home and speaking directly to your child that way – then why should you have to be ok with them being forced to read those words in private?
Our advice to every parent is to take your children’s syllabus and research every book that they will be studying during the year. If the books aren’t listed, contact the teacher and demand the list so that you can research what the book is about. It is time the district is held accountable for their selections. If a teacher wants to study a book with explicit and/or tasteless material, a letter should be sent home with the students outlining the explicit material and asking for parent permission. An alternative book should be offered for those who refuse to study the book.