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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Schofield teacher on leave after parent complains of (OSC) book

   
Author Topic: Schofield teacher on leave after parent complains of (OSC) book
bleeter
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Hi there,
Long time OSC reader, never a member of the forum until today. This made me register, though. I hope I'm not 'off topic'.

I've edited the Subject of this thread so that a potentially offensive word will only be found in the story about how reading Ender's Game to students seems to have got a teacher in trouble.

http://www.aikenstandard.com/story/0315Followup-with-school--3862406

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Szymon
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I suppose this mother is ultra-protective. I cannot imagine why would anyone who understood anything from the book could say anything in there was even remotely pornographic. The boy is 14, four crying out loud, he should be pretty mature. I was 12 when I read the book.
I imagine what the poor teacher, who probably wanted his students to read HIS favourite book or sth, and now is persecuted for it. I mean, I understand that children shouldn't be exposed to bad language, but this is literature.
OSC is a pornographic writer, everybody. He would love that.

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BlackBlade
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I hate this aspect of our society. The complainant summons as much public outrage as possible, while the administration weigh the issue. If they get enough the teacher is punished, possibly fired. If they don't get enough, then nothing really happens. But it's not as if the complainant stands to lose anything by trying to ruin a teacher's career.
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rivka
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While I find this reaction of the parent infuriating, it does look like the teacher didn't follow the expected protocol at his school for using supplementary reading materials. As a former teacher, I find that understandable -- but stupid.

[ March 15, 2012, 01:56 PM: Message edited by: rivka ]

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shadowland
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I think the article might have been misleading. It kind of sounds like the teacher read from three different books, one of which happened to be Ender's Game, and two of the three books were found to be potentially inappropriate. It doesn't explicitly say that Ender's Game was one of the inappropriate ones.
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AchillesHeel
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I was eleven when I read Ender's Game, it was my first book significantly greater in maturity and difficulty above Harry Potter. I may have been bitten by the book worm but its venom waited to kick in until I read EG, I became voracious in my search for better and better stories, I can honestly say that EG had a definite and positive effect on my development.

Pornographic indeed.

Edit to add.
Is anyone else not very surprised that the story comes from S. Carolina?

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Corwin
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quote:
Originally posted by shadowland:
I think the article might have been misleading. It kind of sounds like the teacher read from three different books, one of which happened to be Ender's Game, and two of the three books were found to be potentially inappropriate. It doesn't explicitly say that Ender's Game was one of the inappropriate ones.

Yeah, I'd probably hold off on criticizing the parent before learning more about this. The story is a bit vague right now.

And as rivka said, not following normal protocol before reading those books was not the smartest move. I can see why the school is investigating this. I just hope that whatever their decision, it won't be influenced by media outcry in either direction.

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Belle
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Wow, I wish I could say I am shocked, but I've seen this stuff before. I currently teach high school literature, but I have taught middle school before.

We have a huge list of books that are already approved that we can pull from and Ender's Game is one of them. It's approved for grades 7 and up, so would be perfectly fine in a middle school setting.

But, I have seen parents complain about anything. I had one tell me his son couldn't read Dickens' A Christmas Carol because he didn't celebrate Christmas. *shrug*

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Bella Bee
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How depressing. I think there is so much value in using stuff that kids are actually interested in to inspire them to learn.

I've used 'Twilight' and Katy Perry with kids this age to teach English as a second language, and I can guarantee that they learned more from that than they learned from any textbook or reading scheme. You have to get the kids excited about learning, or it goes in one ear and out the other. Thankfully, I never had a complaint.

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neo-dragon
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Nothing surprises me after hearing about a black parent who got "To Kill a Mocking Bird" pulled from the curriculum because it contains the N-word. Some people just look for things to be outraged about.
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Nighthawk
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I don't know how many of you are aware, but OSC responded on Facebook:

quote:
It's unfortunate Ender's Game got lumped in with another book or books this teacher read which really WERE quite inappropriate. When someone is entrusted with the education of children, the goal is to lay a foundation, not a cutting edge. Because EG is the better known book, it's getting the most publicity, but the fact that EG is by no means pornographic does not change the fact that the teacher's choices were questionable.

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kmbboots
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Wait...does Mr. Card know thes specifics of the complaint? If he doesn't know if it is "book" or "books" how does he know EG wasn't one of them? Or maybe he was being vague about what he does know? I have read "Curtain" and recall nothing remotely pornographic.
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Jeff C.
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Yeah, I'm right there with Kate. How does he know which books were inappropriate and which weren't? EG has some scenes where the kids are said to be naked, walking around, and they have been regarded by certain individuals for being "pornographic", so I can totally see the logic, however flawed, behind saying EG is like that.

I'd like to know what these other books were.

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kmbboots
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The other two books were "The Devil's Paintbox" and Agatha Christie's "Curtain".
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Jeff C.
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Unfortunately, I haven't read either of those. With a name like "The Devil's Paintbox" though, I'm not surprised that someone complained. I can imagine there are people who would get upset just over that alone.
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Amka
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I just heard OSC talk on the radio today (KSL in Utah) and apparently some things were also read that were taken from the internet, and that he would have been upset as a parent that the teacher was introducing it. Teachers, he said, act as surrogate parents during the school day and we should expect them to exemplify the best in our society. Talking about lists of banned books that some groups generate, he said he thought that was silly. The best way to deal with literature is to read it with your children, talk to them about it, go over the moral choices, etc. Making them banned just makes a book 'the forbidden fruit', your kids will read it, and won't talk to you about it. Discussing it with them will help them learn, and in the case of things like porn, will embarrass or bore them... He suspected the parent had never even read Ender's Game, but discovered it was on one of the banned lists.
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Szymon
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Amka, cool you heard that. Like OSC posting it himself.
His thought makes me a little sad- sounds very very not like things are nowadays, and not because children read forbidden books. It's just that they hardly ever read. I reminded me of my Mom telling me not to read Masterton [Smile] Obviously, I read couple of his books right away. I dont consider myself damaged, though.

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kacard
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Aiken Police Drop Criminal Investigation

Here is the latest news on the story. Also, there is a link to the address of the school superintendent who is still deciding if "Ender's Game" is appropriate for middle school. I assume they want respectful input [Smile]

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kmbboots
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I understand Mr. Card's Facebook remarks (quoted above) even less now.
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jpgray
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quote:
Originally posted by Nighthawk:
I don't know how many of you are aware, but OSC responded on Facebook:

quote:
It's unfortunate Ender's Game got lumped in with another book or books this teacher read which really WERE quite inappropriate. When someone is entrusted with the education of children, the goal is to lay a foundation, not a cutting edge. Because EG is the better known book, it's getting the most publicity, but the fact that EG is by no means pornographic does not change the fact that the teacher's choices were questionable.

Could you link to that quote? AFAIK OSC hasn't used his official facebook page since ~2008 =\
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Scott R
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I won't link to it, but I can concur with Nighthawk-- OSC definitely posted that on Facebook recently.
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Kelly1101
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Haven't read Devil's Paintbox.

Christie's "Curtain" is not in any way shape or form pornographic. It's Agatha Christie for chrissake.

I think this is a case of idiotic hysterical parent.

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