Monday, January 25, 2010

Dictionaries - Sexually Explicit?

Our faithful tipster C.H. has just sent us this link about a dictionary ban in Southern California's schools:

"Dictionaries have been removed from classrooms in southern California schools after a parent complained about a child reading the definition for "oral sex".

Merriam Webster's 10th edition, which has been used for the past few years in fourth and fifth grade classrooms (for children aged nine to 10) in Menifee Union school district, has been pulled from shelves over fears that the "sexually graphic" entry is "just not age appropriate", according to the area's local paper."

Does this constitute censorship, or should classrooms offer more age-appropriate dictionaries with definitions less prone to elicit playground titters? Should encyclopedias, with their illustrations of human anatomy, be banned from classrooms as well? Where do educators and librarians draw the line?

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