Monday, August 15, 2011

A Study in Stupidity

In one of those knee-jerk reaction-type moves, the Albemarle School Board voted to remove the Sherlock Holmes book "A Study in Scarlet" from its sixth grade reading list.

What? What is that sound? Oh! It's Thomas Jefferson rolling over in his grave!

Albemarle County, Virginia, is not some little uptight Bible belt town. It is the suburbs of the city of Charlottesville, where Jefferson's little educational project, the University of Virginia, makes the county population probably one of the most educated in the country.

My first reaction was to shake my head incredulously at this lame sort of censorship (after all, they haven't resorted to removing the book from the library shelves) and the equally lame excuse for its removal (I figured it was Holmes' drug use -- I was wrong; it was an unflattering mention of Mormonism).

If presenting specific religious sects in a bad light is Albemarle's criterion for what is recommended to students, they've got a lot of weeding out to do. Let's start with their history books...ANY history book. Historically, religious sects seem to behave in a bad light. You can only put so much sugar-coating on the Crusades or the Salem witch trials.

Then it occurred to me. I'd missed the point completely! The Albemarle School Board members are not a group of ignorant, weak-minded PC cowards. They're savvy educators who know their charges.

What a brilliant move! Now every 11-year-old will be beating a path to the public library to read the forbidden text -- they may even underline those salacious Mormon references. And, since they will probably be on a waiting list for A Study in Scarlet, they may settle for any of the other Holmes books.

Perhaps some really smart librarian can come up with a List of Books Removed from the Sixth Grade Reading List and surreptitiously circulate it in the middle school.

Rest easy, Mr. Jefferson. Education is in the capable hand of the Albemarle School Board.


Darkgarden said...

Ya' know, I wish your train of thought was correct. This is yet another story like this I've heard somewhat recently. It frustrates me to a point where I often do not know where to turn, what to say, or who to say it to.

I figure our opinions don't mean much. I realize that. We're more humorous to our own circle (my REALLY SMALL circle) of friends than anything.

Its all just Whacky Justifiable Outrage.

The government is closing in... Cutting of our air... There's no time!

I find myself getting anxious more often while watching the constant flow of bureaucratic loose bowel movements that continue to pass unto us all. I feel powerless.
Yup… More and more bowels dumping over our heads, seeping into our minds and bodies; invading our respite; dominating holiday; gushing darkly upon every vacation and skulking in the corner of a free moment at home.

Before me I see bowel right now, situated in the corner. It is the Gov’ment Bowel I speak of, and its among us all. I have Gov'ment Bowel in my corner and I don't wish it to be there. It is like a…

oh.. sorry… I have to go make dinner now.

Sisiggy said...

On the local level, like this -- I feel a bit more empowered. I can almost guarantee a SRO crowd at the next Albemarle School Board meeting.

Oh, there is a good ol' boy "that's the way we've always done it" attitude in local politics; but it's workable and, in away, laughable.

Sherlock won't be off the reading list for long -- certainly not in that county.

Besides, it always comes down to bowels with you.

The UDG said...

When some schools started to put Charlotte's Web in the No Read Zone, I began to seriously doubt my commitment to become a teacher.

Sisiggy said...

By what stretch of the imagination...oh -- that it encourages unwed women to have multiple children? That Wilbur was being "judged" by his appearance alone? That it gives the pork industry an unfair advantage? That it gives the other meat industries an unfair advantage since now no kid will want to "eat Wilbur?"