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Are the Schools Stifling Imaginations?

Posted by Sandra on August 29, 2008

My 10 (very soon to be 11) year old son loves to read.  He has a WILDLY vivid imagination – the boy can write short stories that can rival a much more experienced soul.  He, like the rest of the family, loves scary movies.  We thoroughly enjoy our Friday nights, turning the lights out, making popcorn, and snuggling on the couch to watch a great thriller. 

Stephen King started the same way.

In the past, some of my son’s teachers, such as his art teacher, really encouraged his imagination by letting him write his short stories and draw his wonderfully detailed pictures (of skeletons, zombies, and the like – no big deal) under the table.  In other words, they aren’t “appropriate” (whatever that word means) for school, per se, but the teachers realized reading is fundamental (hey, that sounds familiar), encouraging art and creativity is key to helping a child grow, and most important, it’s completely and utterly harmless.

So my son went to the bookstore last year to pick out some new books for young readers.  Among the books he chose was one called Death and the Arrow, by Chris Priestley.  Mr. Priestley writes lots of books for young adults.  He is very talented.  The writing is clear, the book is fairly short, being 161 pages or so, keeping the interest of a pre-teen through the entire novel.  And, it is a gripping tale that really encourages the mind to invent the scenes and maintains the desire to keep reading.

Each year, the children in our school are told they must read a certain amount of hours each week, and Mom or Dad must sign a sheet noting the times and the book that was read.  This is great, no problem.  It is, however, a problem, when my son is told his book is not appropriate reading. 

Not appropriate?  I’m sorry… it’s not about butterflies and bunnies, so it’s not appropriate?

Last year, in the fourth grade, it wasn’t appropriate.  This year, in the fifth grade, it’s not appropriate.  Way to encourage the mind, teachers.  Is this why more and more children are being homeschooled?  To avoid censorship and control?  I’m not happy about this.  I will, however, be contacting the teacher, and then possibly the school board.   I am the mother.  You will not, with your prudish rules and ridiculous guidelines, stifle my children. 

You can bet my son will be reading this novel.  Twice if he wants to.


4 Responses to “Are the Schools Stifling Imaginations?”

  1. Lara said

    This really makes me want to home school my kids…and if Obama gets elected it may “inappropriate” to read the constitution, too.

  2. yuthink said

    well, when did harry potter become appropriate? Or several of the scary books my duaghter reads. We haven’t had that problem here – my problem is that my duaghter will read 2 or three books at a time.

    I just don’t know how she keeps the stories all strieght.

  3. […] Update on the “Inappropriate” Book From this blog. […]

  4. Deanna said

    The teachers are scared of you sis. As they should be. 🙂

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