Disclaimer: I have not (yet) read Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. But censorship is something that will always raise my hackles, and this: http://www.news-leader.com/article/20100918/OPINIONS02/9180307/Scroggins-Filthy-books-demeaning-to-Republic-education is so very far from okay, that I have to say something.
Maybe not much, and not very insightful, as I haven't read Speak, but the thing that really concerns me about Mr Scroggins' post - apart from the fact that we are still, in the 21st century, deciding what is and is not appropriate reading for other people's children - is that he equates rape with soft pornography.
He states: "Equally shocking is the content of the high school English classes. In high school English classes, children are required to read and view material that should be classified as soft pornography. One such book is called "Speak." They also watch the movie. This is a book about a very dysfunctional family. Schoolteachers are losers, adults are losers and the cheerleading squad scores more than the football team. They have sex on Saturday night and then are goddesses at church on Sunday morning. The cheer squad also gets their group-rate abortions at prom time. As the main character in the book is alone with a boy who is touching her female parts, she makes the statement that this is what high school is supposed to feel like. The boy then rapes her on the next page. Actually, the book and movie both contain two rape scenes."
Mr Scroggins: Rape is not, nor should it ever be, pornorgraphy. The words should not be in the same sentence, and it's a very, very dangerous attitude to put out there.
Also this: "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".
Education, education, education. Education, not censorship, is the key. And talking. And homosexuality is not a "concept" any more than it is a lifestyle choice. It is the way some people are; the way some people are very tall, or have blond hair. But that's another blog post, I feel.
Removing books from school libraries in order to, what? protect the children from the evils of sex, of safe sex? It's the 21st century. Why are we still having these conversations?
As somebody on twitter said: "Don't want your kid to read a particular book? Fine. Don't want any other kids to read it either? Not fine."