Common Core or Pornography? (**Reader Warning Explicit**)

Blue Eyes

*Graphic content. Reader Discretion Advised

What an exhausting day!  You look at the clock and see you have about 20 glorious minutes to rest before the kiddos come home from school.  You notice that your 16-year-old left his Literature book on the coffee table.  “The Bluest Eye.” It’s too tempting.  At this point you are too exhausted to care what you read, you just want a break.  So you decide to indulge.

Cup of Coffee… Check.

Slippers… Check.

Comfy Lounge… Check.

Book in hand… Check.

You begin to read…..(warning**explicit)

“A bolt of desire ran down his genitals…and softening the lips of his anus. . . . He wanted to f*** her—tenderly. But the tenderness would not hold. The tightness of her vagina was more than he could bear. His soul seemed to slip down his guts and fly out into her, and the gigantic thrust he made into her then provoked the only sound she made. Removing himself from her was so painful to him he cut it short and snatched his genitals out of the dry harbor of her vagina. She appeared to have fainted.”

It continues

…..“He further limited his interests to little girls. They were usually manageable . . . His sexuality was anything but lewd; his patronage of little girls smacked of innocence and was associated in his mind with cleanliness.” And later, this same pedophile notes, “I work only through the Lord. He sometimes uses me to help people.” Page 181:  “The little girls are the only things I’ll miss. Do you know that when I touched their sturdy little t*** and bit them—just a little—I felt I was being friendly?—If I’d been hurting them, would they have come back? . . . they’d eat ice cream with their legs open while I played with them. It was like a party.”

The color drains from your face and the book slips from your hands.  You quickly look around, hoping that no one has seen what you just read.  You double-check the cover.  Yes, you see the school’s information printed on the spine.  Yes, you see your son has the book signed out to him.  You continue further.  Burning anger surges from your stomach up to your throat.  You quickly scroll through the pages frantically.

Pages 84-85:  “He must enter her surreptitiously, lifting the hem of her nightgown only to her navel. He must rest his weight on his elbows when they make love, to avoid hurting her breasts…When she senses some spasm about to grip him, she will make rapid movements with her hips, press her fingernails into his back, suck in her breath, and pretend she is having an orgasm. She might wonder again, for the six hundredth time, what it would be like to have that feeling while her husband’s penis is inside her.” ….Pages 130-131:  “Then he will lean his head down and bite my t** . . . I want him to put his hand between my legs, I want him to open them for me. . . I stretch my legs open, and he is on top of me…He would die rather than take his thing out of me. Of me. I take my fingers out of his and put my hands on his behind…” Pages 148-149:  “With a violence born of total helplessness, he pulled her dress up, lowered his trousers and underwear. ‘I said get on wid it. An’make it good, n*****, Come on c***. Faster. You ain’t doing nothing for her.’ He almost wished he could do it—hard, long, and painfully, he hated her so much.” Read more

Pedophilia

Incest

Rape

Graphic Sex

Running to the internet, nearly tripping over your slippers, you shuffle through the papers on your desk  to call your school. As reported this morning, you find out that this book, “The Bluest Eye” has been on the Common Core list of exemplar texts for your 11th grader.  (See for your self)

You knew about Common Core.  It has been the buzz word all around town.  You brushed it off thinking it could not happen to you.  You are the parent, and you would just “fix” things at home.  Oh they are just “standard” they said..not curriculum.  Your school district is conservative.  Let someone else deal with it you said.  All the excuses ran through your head.

If the articles that came out this week about the idea of new Common Core math (i.e 3X4=11) principles of the “thinking process being more important than right or wrong answers” didn’t bother you… would  the possibility of your child reading pornographic books bother you?  Missed the math lesson?  View it below.

Parents, it is vital to wake up to the dangers of Common Core. If you are not up to speed on these dangers, I have included links below that will help educate you. Indiana is at a critical juncture.  Because of activists like you, the Legislature put Common Core on pause.  We want to see it completely dismantled and rejected.  This has to be done by the Indiana State School Board.  There are two more hearings that will debate the topic at the Indiana Statehouse.  One is September 10th, and the other is in October. After that,  the school board will vote to continue Common Core, or dismantle it.

It is time to get in the game to protect these children. Speak out to your state school board representative and to your lawmaker. and let them know that you do not want Common Core in the state of Indiana.  Education  belongs at the local level.

Helpful Links:

 

Additional information regarding Bluest Eyes in Indiana:

Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 10, 2009

Delphi schools reject banning 3 books

DELPHI — A school district has rejected a call to ban three books from an 11th grade advanced English curriculum.

The Delphi Community School Corp. board voted 5-1 against the proposed ban at a meeting attended by about 150 people Monday night.

A group of parents said that the books should not be assigned in class due to their sexual content and graphic language. The books were Bobbie Ann Mason’s “In Country,” Chris Crutcher’s “Chinese Handcuffs” and Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye.”

The books are taught at Delphi High School, a school with about 515 students about 15 miles north of Lafayette.

English teacher Pat Brettnacher said she’s thankful that the board stood by its teachers.

 

(Note, this was a LOCAL decision… a wrong decision, but a local one)  Common core opts you out of the local decision when they put these books on the exemplary status list.

 

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111 Comments
  1. I honestly don’t know what to say, I had to leave a comment so you knew I had read it, I’m just speechless. Angry and speechless..

  2. This is terrifying! As a social worker who’s worked with teens for over 20 years, I would be terrified to let some young men read this book as they would regard it as a how-to-manual! Do you want your young teenage girls in a classroom with a boy who already has these types of thoughts reading this book together? Discussing it with each other? I am horrified that this book actually puts the reader as a co-conspirator to these sexually violent acts, then regards the rapist/child-molester as “gentle” or “doing God’s work.” The author seems to be trying to “normalize” pedophilia and downplay the life-long emotional, psychological, mental, and physical effects born from sexual violence.

    Then I think of all of the young girls I’ve worked with who have been molested by their fathers, uncles, friends of family. I can’t imagine the mental anguish and trauma this would cause these girls.

    What in the world was this author thinking? How could Oprah, a woman who was molested herself, recommend this book? What’s next? NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) literature in the classrom? Playboy magazine in the library? (I hear it has “great articles.”

    Shame on “educators” – teachers, administrators, and librarians – who promote obvious pornography as “literature.”

    Parents, it’s time to get involved or watch as your children suffer the consequences of your own apathy.

    • Amy, I was sent this link by a friend who lives in California and I was stunned as well. This is outright hard core porno attempting to masquerade as “Literature.” it most certainly is not. To be honest I cannot fathom how this was ever endorsed by Oprah, who, as you state has a history of being molested. To be honest I would rather have Playboy in the library than this drivel, at least then they would not pedophilia, incest, rape or explicit “How to” instrutions poisoning their young minds. This lays bare (no pun intended) the agenda of the “Educators.” This is evil, pure and simple.

    • I AM SORRY BUT YOU ARE NOT A READER ARE YOU . FROM THOSE OUT OF CONTEXT PASSSAGES I CSAN TELL YOU JUST BECAUSE A BOOK IS WRITTEN FROM THE VIEW OF A MONSTER IT IS NOT PROMOTING PEDOPHILIA. IT SEEMS LIKE GOOD LIT TO ME FROM THOSE FEW PASSAGES. CANT WAIT TO READ A BOOK THAT MIGHT BE ACTUALLY GOOD. YOU MUAT BE PRETTY APATHETIC WHEN IT COMES TO LITERACY AND YUO SHOULKD READ THE WHOLE BOOK TOO. THEN MAYBE YOU WILL FIND SOMETHING INSIGHTFUL OR INTERESTING. OR MAYBE YOYU WILL THINK WHAT A TERRIBLE BOOK. MAYBE I WILL TOO BUT BEING AN AVID READER THAT IS NO BOOK SAYING PRDOPHILIA IS GOOD.

      • Actually, yes I am a reader, I have a fairly large library of printed books and several e readers. Good literature? Would you object to some well written passages of a Ku Klux Klan member terrorizing and murdering a black person? Well, would you?? This is no different missy.
        I laugh at your way of speaking as one who appreciates good literature and then misspells a LOT of words, not to mention your writing in ALL CAPS, which is usually the sign of someone who is certain that their point of view is most assuredly superior. BTW its pedophilia dear, perhaps you should acquaint yourself with a work of literature called a dictionary.

      • You are an idiot. And if you were as educated as you claim to be you could spell or at least use “spell check”. Mess up your own mind if you like but children deserve better than this.

      • I am not only a reader, but hold a M.S. in Education. This does not belong in any school or in any child’s hands.

      • Allison, your attitude is remarkably foolish. If you have to “read the whole book” after reading that appalling section before you’re able to recognize it for the porn that it undoubtedly is, I feel genuinely sorry for you. Our brains record everything that we put into them, whether we remember it on a conscious level or not. We aren’t able to just dismiss the ugly thoughts or mental images that we put there through our reading or viewing choices. Those are all in our brains somewhere. That’s why it’s so important to to read from truly good books and not fill our minds and memories with hogwash, which Toni Morrison prefers to write for some inexplicable reason. Oprah Winfrey is no more a role model for our young people than Toni Morrison is. I am sickened that any American school district could allow this filth to be put before children’s eyes. How does anything remotely this ugly claim to prepare them for becoming a wise, responsible adult? Isn’t preparing children for a good adulthood the goal for teaching children?

  3. There is one possible consolation in Common Core English language standards: most 11th graders will likely bee too illiterate to read the degrading material recommended to them. It seems to me, the only reason for the pornographic text, chosen as “exemplar” by Common Core architects, is to destroy the spirits of the unfortunate children who can read it, with a possible secondary objective of harming society.
    What a black soul it must have taken to write those words. What a hopeless person who would give voice to such despair.
    The thoughts and actions portrayed in this book are ideas that destroy mankind. They encourage man to be his worst.
    There was a garbage dump outside Jerusalem during Jesus’ time. It was used to dispose of refuse, human waste, dead bodies of animals and crucified citizens. It smoldered and stank incessantly. It was a home for flesh eating vermin and the “unclean” of society. Jesus described the garbage dump as “gehenna” and likened it to hell. There was no image worse in human experience.
    Surely, “The Bluest Eyes” and its author must have earned a place in Gehenna for the harm they have set in motion.

    • Very well thought out and well written, an enlightened mind knoweth the truth. God Bless you!

  4. its called empathy and expanding your viewpoint with counterbalances to strenghten your own convictions. this may be graphic, but its also a realistic if extremely sad portrayal of something that is SUPPOSED to elicit distress and disdain from the reader. I’m a freshman girl in college, and i would easily have understood this, along with most of my classmates at that age. I f your not mature enough to understand something like that, then anything and everything out there in the world could trigger the adverse effect some here predict from reading this anyways, and the matureness of the portrayal strengthens the lessons that can be learned in undertsanding and recognizing the the complex points that the aunthor is trying to make about society and human nature. This is not porn, it is not sexuality purely for enterntainment, mindless and one dimensional. The world would be better yes if the ideas portrayed there never existed, but they do, so informing people on these issues in there own way is making the world a better place. I am constantly surrounded by people my age who are mature enough to understand something like this, but are instead sheltered and therefore often rather closeminded. Better to read this maturealy, with a teacher to explain and provoke in depth and thoughtful discussion on this, then to mindlessly plod through garbage like twilight while they are at home.

    • I feel so bad for you that you dont even understand how bad this is. Maybe someday when you are a parent you will. Then again I doubt that will happen because you have already been conditioned by the public school system to think tis is acceptable. Hopefully going forward we can do a better job with students coming through the system after you.

      • How incredibly patronizing. How dare you judge someone for their thoughtful, well-written comment. You look down on them because they’re intelligent?! Yes, I agree that this book shouldn’t be in school, but your patronizing “when you’re a parent, you’ll understand” nonsense makes me sick.

        Don’t think for a second that most of these teenagers (and probably your own) listen to sexually graphic music, watch movies that sexually graphic content, and see things, even on commercials, that illicit this type of thought pattern EVERY SINGLE DAY. What she said was actually huge – someone is there to lead you through this stuff and if you don’t realize that you’re getting bombarded with this type of thing at every turn, then you are clearly blind.

        Do I think this belongs in our curriculum? No, but if you think I’m going to sit here and not be disgusted at you blowing off a logical and thoughtful argument because you’re so close minded to the intelligence of youth, that’s just sad.

        • And why would you presume to have any qualifications to be someone who could lead a young person through these mine fields?

          • And you presume to be the only qualified person in the United States who can? My stepmother threw a fit about this very same book and when my father confronted me about it, I told him it was very dark and twisted but in no way a “users manual”. Everyone needs to understand that this is on a recommended reading list that must be approved by the school board for release into the curriculum, standards, or whatever name you wish to place upon it. Every niche of our society has different norms of what they deem as acceptable and if this is true in your particular area then approach the school board but do not attempt to silence an intelligent response to the debate. By doing so is representative of the reprehensible act of predators silencing victims of violent crimes.

      • Why would you feel sorry for her? She’s an intelligent young woman who obviously knows the difference between porn and literature. It’s unfortunate that you do not. High school kids in 11th grade AP lit are likely mature enough to handle the content and the world in which the book describes. You really should have some faith in the intellect of these young men and women.

        • j”… High school kids in 11th grade AP lit are likely mature enough to handle the content and the world in which the book describes…”
          There are a lot of assumptions being made in this thread about the maturity of high school juniors. I have worked with them at every level from the lowest remedial course, to AP. Some are and some aren’t, with no real pattern to which class has more of the mature ones or not. The problem is, the immature ones make it hard for the class to be controlled by the mature ones. Even so, I can see several situations where maturity is not the issue. I know plenty of mature students who would be very uncomfortable in a class studying this book together. Think of it in terms of a “toxic work environment” as you would deal with a case of sexual harassment on a job.

      • Let’s hope she is never a parent.

    • Anonymous, I want to congratulate you for your well thought out and well written comments. I am a mother, a Christian and an English major. I have read and studied this book and consider it one of the foremost texts in African American literature. The quotes from “The Bluest Eye” have been taken out of context to support a very narrow point of view. Based on the comments, I doubt that these critics have read the text. As a mother of 5 young women and 1 boy, I am not upset with my children reading this text as juniors in high school. At this point in a child’s education, they should be exposed to a wide variety of literature and developing the skills to analyze, the text to determine why the graphic description is being used and how it relates to African American history. Obviously, this text is not suitable for middle school students. However, I am concerned that parents would want to shelter a 17 or 18 year old until they leave for college, ultimately leaving them unprepared to navigate an increasingly diverse world. If we fail to allow our nearly adult children exposure to things that may be distasteful; we fail not only as parents by missing an opportunity to engage our children in meaningful conversations of values, morality and culture we fail to prepare our children to enter adulthood.

      • Exposing them to things that are “distasteful” and exposing them to things that are outright pornographic are two very different things. And to think that parents were upset at “The Scarlett Letter” when I was a kid–that is Sesame Street compared to this filth!! There is no possible “context” where this vile language could be considered acceptable, NONE. I’ll be watching for this book in my sons’ classes, and I’m thankful for the warning.

      • I am surprised that as a Christian, you would want your son or daughter to be reading such explicit literature. I agree that our children need to be rounded and “exposed” to what is around them, but that does not mean they need to read play by play action of sexual content…incestual or consensual. They can learn of such things with simple statements of what took place, rather than in depth description of how it took place. ie: “He raped her repeatedly until she bled” vs what was actually written. (I’m sorry, I can’t even get myself to re-write it) I hope I can “protect” my son from such content so that he continues to see/view women with respect instead of as meat to be had any way he wishes. This is the type of book that should not be on the syllabus as a must read. If it was a Christian academy, I would be bowled over to even see it on the library shelf…however, since it is public school, I can see it being available in the library (not that I agree with that)
        To make myself clear (because I do believe in “freedom of speach”) I am totally opposed to this as a required read…not of censoring it from the libraries.

      • So with your logic I guess my childen need to stay at a disavantaged persons home in a bad neighborhood so they can understand what a drive-by shooting is all about.

      • Guiding your children through difficult texts is a critical job for parents. But the texts and the timing should be determined by the parents, not the schools.

      • They may be “well thought out”, but well written, they are not. If you are an English major, you should have been aware of the many mistakes in her usage and spelling. I too have worked in the schools and even if this is limited to an AP class, I promise you that for every student “mature” enough to understand the “lesson” in this book, there will be three who are not. I have also read of classes where the students were required to read passages out loud in class. My own daughter and several of her friends would have been mortified to have been required to do that, and she is no sheltered prig. She is an artist who has often been in life drawing classes where they work with adult nude models of both sexes. She understands the difference between simple humanity and lasciviousness, and has for years, so don’t bother making any point along those lines. Further, I agree that this would be very damaging for students who have been molested and could deepen the self loathing that motivates them to try to overcome the memory by owning it and engaging in self destructive behaviors in adulthood. It may or may not be pornography but that does not make it appropriate for this age group.

    • The author’s purpose is to make the perpetrator relatable to the reader, to make the reader understand the pedophile, rapist. Why? It is not the type of role model we need for our kids.

    • For any of us adults to take you seriously, you need to learn proper grammar and spelling. There is no such word as “matureness” or “maturealy.” The correct words are maturity and mature.

      I am a rape victim. I was molested as a child and it destroyed my life. How dare you say that mature minds can handle this trash. To think that any school would try to pass this drivel (look it up) off as literature is mind boggling and disturbing.

      I still look over my shoulders 30 years later. I still have nightmares. I still try to hide.

      This so-called novel is a nothing more than a “how to” manual to rape and victimization. Until you have walked a step in a victim’s shoes, you have no right to tell me I shouldn’t be concerned that overly sexualized young teens are reading a porno novel that encourages them to rape babies.

      I have a suggestion for you. Don’t believe everything your teachers tell you. Investigate it for yourself. As a former victim of rape and molestation, I’ll tell you that this stuff makes me cringe in disgust remembering what happened to me. It is as if I were reliving those moments. Someone should sue the school districts for contributing to the delinquency of minors.

      • Thank you for injecting some “reason” into this craziness. This stuff being passed off as literature is not just drivel, it is filthy drivel. What sane parent loves their child so little as to want them to get inside the mind of such predators and perverts?

      • Amen!

    • For any of us adults to take you seriously, you need to learn proper grammar and spelling. There is no such word as “matureness” or “maturealy.” The correct words are maturity and mature.

      I am a rape victim. I was molested as a child and it destroyed my life. How dare you say that mature minds can handle this trash. To think that any school would try to pass this drivel (look it up) off as literature is mind boggling and disturbing.

      I still look over my shoulders 30 years later. I still have nightmares. I still try to hide.

      This so-called novel is a nothing more than a “how to” manual to rape and victimization. Until you have walked a step in a victim’s shoes, you have no right to tell me I shouldn’t be concerned that overly sexualized young teens are reading a porno novel that encourages them to rape babies.

      I have a suggestion for you. Don’t believe everything your teachers tell you. Investigate it for yourself. As a former victim of rape and molestation, I’ll tell you that this stuff makes me cringe in disgust remembering what happened to me. It is as if I were reliving those moments. Someone should sue the school districts for contributing to the delinquency of minors.

      • Amen, your testimony, as a survivor of a rape, earns you the right to have your voice put to the front of the line IMHO. May God Bless and protect you!!

    • I am glad you are mature enough to understand. My concern is the young guy who does not understand.

    • Better to be closeminded than to be so openminded that your brain falls out.
      A person can be underand that there is ugliness in the world without having to immerse himself in it. Reading a book is immersing oneself in the ugliness.

    • Go away, freshman girl in college. This page is for bigots and prudes who want to live in Mayberry.

      • Just because people don’t want their children exposed to descriptions of pedophilia doesn’t make them bigots or prudes. Nice to see that you can’t respond with a logical argument but, instead, resort to name-calling just because you don’t agree. And I really don’t understand how this is bigotry…. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    • “its called empathy and expanding your viewpoint with counterbalances to strengthen your own convictions. this may be graphic, but its also a realistic if extremely sad portrayal of something that is SUPPOSED to elicit distress and disdain from the reader.”

      that is what it’s supposed to do but it’s executed in a way that glorifies the act. especially as it is written from the rapist’s point of view and not the victim’s, it is giving power to the rapist. it’s HIS story, not the little girl’s. this, in my opinion, is not the way to elicit empathy from high schooler’s about rape and child molestation.. especially when at least half the girls in the class have been, at the least, inappropriately touched by a man. this does not give them their personal power back. a better example might be the true story of jaycee dugard.. that would be a book appropriate and raw and written from the perspective of a real-life victim.

      • Right on. I totally agree that the Jaycee Dugard real life events are worth the “must read” in school or out of school.

    • Well put. THE BLUEST EYE has been on my Catholic High School reading list for years. What is the purpose of Art? To hold a mirror up to nature (that’s Shakespeare); not just the beautiful but the horror, too.

      • Paul, just who should determine what it and is not appropriate for the kids? Some material is harmful if ingested at the wrong time, you know that if you are a parent, or you should. It is a question of age appropriate.

    • It is not for the mature and strong that I weep, when I realize that this material was approved for minds that are still developing. It is for the weak, the unguided, the unloved who have emotions, passions, and inclinations stirred when reading this material that I weep.

      In our superior sophistication we leave behind the weak and afflicted. Human beings that become predators were cute and loving children at some point. The means to evolving in that direction should be withheld especially in adolescents when choices are so key to you life.

      You argue that “The world would be better yes if the ideas portrayed there never existed, but they do, so informing people on these issues in there own way is making the world a better place.”

      I have no problem with the author having written the material as it is his or her right to have done so. The problem is having it taught as core literature in school. In your argument you also state that it’s making the world a better place. Where is your evidence for it making the world a better place? I understand that it is your opinion at this time if your life that writing and discussing these things in this manner with teenagers is making the world a better place, and you are entitled to your opinion. However, experience lends to us mothers and teachers an understanding of how these things are destructive and insidious. Research the destructive nature of pornography and how it contributes to abuse.

      Allow me to reiterate that when we make laws and rules in society, that is not for the strong that we make such rules, but for the weak of society, out of love and empathy for their plight.

      • Brooke you astonish me with your reasoning and insight, very well written reply!

    • Are there not many ways to provoke serious discussion, serious debate, and yes, serious thought without the use of porn? Why yes, there are.
      Do you not understand corruption and wrong influence on a young mind? When are kids most sexually charged? Right, the teen years.
      Let’s be brutally honest here, the best way to corrupt young developing sexuality is through this type of unnecessary porno..

  5. You said you are a freshman in college and would have understood this. I accept that but say to you “become a parent” of a freshman in college. I would pull my child out of whatever “literature class” this material was assigned in. Not because I don’t think he could understand it, but because I make the choice to not expose him intentionally.

    As you grow older, you will understand this more and more. The world can be a very cruel and cold environment and there is no point to make worse with such sadistic and graphic stories. It’s quite surreal to me that this would be assigned to a 17 year old (boy or girl) while at the same time, if I were to tell someone at work about this book and recite some of the quotes above, I could be fired for “sexual harassment”.

    If a person chooses to read this book, that’s fine by me. Do not under any circumstances demand that MY child read it for a grade.

    Furthermore, being “sheltered” until you go to college happens to be the JOB of a true parent. We do all we can do to protect our kids so that they make good solid decisions when they are your age and have to do so for themselves.

    And, yes, it is better to read something like this with some sort of guidance. That guidance is called parenting and I would rather my child choose to read it in college with a professor than as a high school student.

    • I would argue then that the true underlying problem here could also be context; both in the idea of the content itself being transformed from something fundamentally wrong and perverted to something that raises empathy and awareness when written into and taught as high-minded literature,because while the ideas are certainly saidistic and gross, floating outside in the real outside world, here there purpose is entirely different; just because author has written these cruel words doesn’t mean they were or have to be taken as a sort of abomination or torture, just like with many unreliable narrators (scout and holden caulfield coming to mind as classic examples) the same way that that many pieces of classical art, Michelangelo’s David for example, which, as a naked man seems risque and screaming for censorship by modern sensibilities, transcends that base issue with its being a classic and skillful portrayal of a figure from the bible;it too is transcending societal boundary’s to educate and challenge the mind, albeit in a different way. Yet taken out of context, both are of course rather innapropriate objects. In fact, you could go through pretty much any classical piece and find some sort of quote, which, out of context and read in a place very out of context, would be very offensive (quoting most famous shakesphere lines get one quite a alotof respect…but try quoting some of his more euphemistic and bawdy lines in the wrong time or place and one might find themselves in the proverbial hot water)!
      I would also argue that as someone whose parents and teachers from a young age encouraged to read challenging and controversial books and topics, in a controlled and supported environment, I am actually much better prepared then many of the different and varying levels of sheltered kids that have surrounded me since childhood. If you understand the perspective of people who are on the other side of a choice, it can make that choice or issue both clearer and more multi- faceted, and making that decision, whether it be about drinking, drugs, pre-marital sex, unwanted pregnancy,a person you find very very offensive, or molestation, a more informed and more strongly rooted in logic decision. Wait till college to be educated about topics such as these in a mature way and it can easily be too late for kids to be able to make the right choice when they suddenly face relative freedom. I’m already seeing many who are making the wrong choice that either grew up very sheltered, or whose parent THOUGHT they were sheltered, or at least their own definition of sheltered. I have actually always considered myself rather sheltered by my parents, because while educated on difficult topics, I’m really not face to face with them. Yet if I ever am, I feel much more confident in making the right sort of decisions, and I know many others in the same boat with me. Wait till college, and it could already be too late, because no matter how you try to shelter someone, no matter how good intentions are, there are still tough situations that can surface when least expected, and the least-expererienced or least well educated ones out there are the most likely to reject whatever one-dimensional platitudes they have been exposed to and be much less prepared if they do make a mistake. Creative mediums such as this are often one of the best ways to get us to think through tough topics thoroughly and logically, and builds a base to continually do so throughout college and beyond. (also if someone can’t afford college or chooses a college that wouldn’t really touch on these topics because it is a technical school of some sort would never have had a chance to be guided through and learn about these mature topics through such a medium. And, of course, part of being educated in a more open way is the ability to accept that other people may have different yet still valid opinions while still having confident in one’s own. If some parents strongly object to a book, then instead of trying to have it removed completely, and therefore similarly dictating what happens to everyone’s kids ( which to some extent is what they complain about common core doing), they should petition to have a rider added that gives the provision that a child can, with parent permission, switch to a less “offensive” book on the same topic. But because we have that social contract with our education system, and trust our educators generally accept in small instances, it must be accepted that in this case the extra responsibility would be on the parent and their child. Otherwise the parent and child can find an alternative way to get education, if they find the trust between them and the school system so completely broken. Like any relationship, there has to be compromises on both sides, parents and teachers. While the parent is ultimately responsible for the child, the teacher is also paid by an outside party the parent has, through the social contract, endorsed. The teacher may find what the child is or is not taught at home problematic same as the parent of the teacher. So there is the balance of the guardianship of parents and the long hours of training and experience garnered by teachers. I realize this got a little off topic; I respectfully hope that people will keep these ideas in mind, because they are so easily overlooked and forgotten.

      • It’s not the teacher’s job to teach a child what he isn’t taught at home. It is the teacher’s job to teach academics.

        • Do you jest? If not, please make sure all kids come into class with manners and proper respect for adults, students, and supplies. They should value their education. They should know how to wipe their own noses and tie their own shoes. They should be able to find the garbage can to throw something away, rather than hand it to me. I could go on and on and on and on and on about the things I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO TEACH BUT DO TEACH EVERYDAY BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT TAUGHT OR VALUED AT HOME. To ignore these things and only teach academics is to ignore the health and well being of the children in my care.

      • So I’m curious… If its okay for an author to write on any issue, at any time. Then would it be equally okay to have students read a book about the holocaust from the Nazi perspective to help “raise awareness” of German sensibilities and feelings at the time? Or maybe if schools required a book the lauded the slave-trade as perceived by traders? By your logic, it would be a loss to greater society not to capture their perspectives.

        • To read from the nazis point of view simply shows the dangers of falling into their reasoning, and prevents us from doing the same by recognizing what in us could potentially lead to the same horrible reaction.

          • Not necessarily. It could convince people to share their views. Teenagers are gullible and malleable, and don’t have enough life experience to make wise decisions.

  6. What a ridiculous piece of writing. Anyone even remotely familiar with the Common Core initiative is well aware that there is absolutely no list of books or other material required to be read. Teachers and school districts make those choices. You can read the Common Core standards for high school yourself at http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards and clearly read that there is no requirement for kids to read pornography. The link you provided is to a commercial book publisher’s advertisement. Either you did not research the Common Core before writing this or you are a tool of the NEA and their frantic desire to keep public school teachers from having their teaching ability evaluated by testing their students.

    • To those who say to relax, this book is not a required text book, I say…
      “That is like saying the doctor saying you have an unhealthy heart so you need to start eating foods that will help your heart. You walk down the isle of the grocery and pick up a box of Cheerios. It says right there on the front of the box, “approved for a healthy heart” by the American Heart Association. They didn’t require you to eat it, but it had the AHA seal of approval and recommendation. The Bluest Eyes has the stamp of approval by the American Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. No different.

      They gave it the Common Core stamp of approval.

      Nothing will keep some liberal teacher from putting it in her syllabus. Indiana has already had that happen, and unless a mom was so in tuned and had million extra hours in her day to read the inside of that book she rests in knowing it is Common Core approved. Little does she know what that means.

      • Amen!!! I have researched CC and am researching it and I went to several school sites in different states and was able to pull up their CC reading list for Junior and Senior grade levels.

        I found “The Bluest Eyes” on MANY of them! I also found that book on the “Exemplar reading list” for CC on several sites, none of which were book publisher advertisements as Judith said.

        Those who are for CC seem to be getting all of their information from the Common Core website….which of course is pushing the agenda….somehow their objectivity is possibly in question I would think!

      • It’s a beautiful and heart-breaking novel, Monica. Try reading it and not be moved by Pecola’s story.

    • Judith, I don’t think you will find the most objective information on the site of the ones who are pushing the agenda of Common Core! I have researched CC and am researching it and I went to several school sites in different states and was able to pull up their CC reading list for Junior and Senior grade levels.

      I found “The Bluest Eyes” on MANY of them! I also found that book on the “Exemplar reading list” for CC on several sites, none of which were book publisher advertisements!

      I agree with you that something needs to be done in education but from all of the research I have done, with each article and link only further concerning me with the many issues of CC, this curriculum is NOT THE ANSWER!!! I am not with the NEA but I am a concerned grandmother who knows a bad curriculum when she sees it!!!

  7. 1. You’ll hand the keys of a vehicle to a 16yr old where they can run someone over or cause a fatal crash, but you’re scared of them reading words?

    2. If you’d raised your children to be better people you wouldn’t be concerned that this book was a “how-to” manual for raping a woman.

    3. IT’S A BOOK. You know the last people who got all uppity about people reading things? NAZIS.

    Grow up all of you, if you have raised and educated your children to be decent individuals, they would read the book, understand the lesson they were to learn from it then swiftly decide “that was messed up, don’t think i’ll read that one again” and toss it out the window. You people are worse than the inadequate parents who blame videogames for their childrens violence.

    • From a parent’s perspective the text quoted even if it is out of context is Lewd to say the least. I hear young saying it is not what you read or watch that determines your actions. That is a BOLD FACED LIE. Businesses spend millions of dollars to portray their products as Cool, fashionable, needed. Why? Because it works. Based on what you see and read you react. On this book, I have not read the whole text but I find the thought of this book being thoroughly discussed .. almost irrational.. what the teacher is going to read this section aloud and ask said boy or girl what they thought of this.. NOT LIKELY! I believe that there are many other books that would be more appropriate. I am not talking of book burning but let us not waste valuable class time on this type of discussion. I have found a number of things have changed drastically since I attended school. I am working to do all I can to benefit all the children in our community. I personally challenge every adult to look at their schools, volunteer and see the condition of and the material presented. Only then can we have schools that work. Since education and its quality affects all citizens, it is up to us to be involved and see what we can personally do to improve our local schools.

    • And you’ve never been raped, have you?

    • I just want to know what “lesson” you think it is that any decent individual would want to learn from this book????

    • People are malleable until about age 22. Even a well-raised child could be warped by this kind of book. Just ask the military how easy it is to shape a young adult. Apparently, the schools learned that concept as well.
      It is amazing that people who say this kind of elicit book is okay scream bloody murder if the school allows school prayer or a Bible on campus.

    • You can never remove these images from your head. I don’t want my son having this in his head. There is NO REASON for him to know the sick things that vile human beings do to each other. We keep desensitizing ourselves to things we should rally against and our communities suffer. Our families suffer. Our children suffer. Enough is ENOUGH.
      this book IS on our local HS list and I will be warning other families about its contents.

    • The comparisons you make are nonsensical in logic.

      1) A vehicle in a wreck has immediate consequences. A book, however, plants ideas (which in many cases are more dangerous), ideas that can spread like wildfire to the right group of people. So you’re pretty much comparing a car wreck to reading a book. It’s illogical in nature.

      2) If you raise your children to be better people, they would tell you that this book in particular has questionable content and wouldn’t finish reading it. Anyone with a brain can see that “The Bluest Eye” describes pedophilia and rape down to the most graphic detail. It’s like letting your teen (or tween) daughter read “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which itself is classified as an erotic novel. Having “The Bluest Eye” as Common Core Reading material is saying “rape and child molestation is okay as long as you don’t do it yourself.” That is messed up on so many levels.

      3) The National Socialist German Workers’ Party only had certain books banned that were either written by Jews (who they blamed for Germany’s problems despite Jewish Germans serving faithfully in World War I), had pacifist tendencies, or were suspicious of having communist leanings. Funny enough, socialism is one step short of communism. Anything that didn’t promote pacifism or communism was A-okay.

      You really ought to do your research before telling concerned parents to “grow up.” Why should they “grow up” in the first place? If they don’t want their kids to read this drivel, then it raises a flag that CC is not all that they say it is. Maybe you should “grow up” and let sensible people voice their opinions (also known as free speech), especially about a sexually graphic book like “The Bluest Eyes.” In my opinion, it should be removed from the CC reading pack.

    • These are likely the same people who let their elementary school aged children watch inappropriate movies and listen to inappropriate music, but don’t let them pack their own backpacks for school. Or the ones who let their kids play violent, first person shooter video games, but freak out over an exposed boob on TV. Priorities.

      • It is always amusing to me that some people cringe at a woman breastfeeding a baby, one of the most natural things on earth. Is that not what God made them for? The fact that most men feel sexual attraction to them is incidental in terms of their function.

        • Just because a body part is being used as intended does not mean that it is okay to perform that intended function in public. Our privates have functions too, but I seriously doubt you would be okay with people eliminating in public view or having sex in public view. Some things are meant to be private.

  8. This is smut! As a teacher, father, and a Christian I would not or nor can I condone this type of “literature”! Education is supposed to be about exploring ideas.. not a romance novel! This has NO place in a classroom setting! We have allowed the dark to be light and light to be dark! As for the common core, this is a federal expansion…takeover of the thought process of student! First of all, Education is local responsibility, not federal (unconstitutional), secondly, in Indiana we are lowering the standards to “adapt” to common core! Thirdly, it by design is to cookie cut good little citizens who follow orders and not question what they are told (automatons) Finally, the common core is ultimately a dumbing down of our children even more! Heaven forbid we require analytic thought on real important ideas and issues, instead of tingling in our area! Are you kidding me?

    • I’ve noticed that all of the comments supporting this book are anonymous and most of those against it use real names. I’m curious why someone wouldn’t want their name attached to supporting this if they truly believe it is a positive influence?
      Think about that for a moment and then ask yourself why would we let the Federal Gov. control what our children are taught? It too will be “anonymous, someone else’s decision, out of my control.” Educators around the country can get together and improve our standards without Federal control and federal money if they choose to. Education is a local issue and should remain that way.

      • I have taught THE BLUEST EYE for years in my High School – which is a Catholic School. I’m not anonymous…

  9. People do have freedom to write whatever they want as the author their books, but selection of required reading for students in schools is a special responsibility. Topics in literature ( theme, vivid discriptions, characterizations, etc.) can be exemplified with a variety of books. Unless teaching the awareness of human degradation (pornography) is a Common Core standard, this book should not be required reading for a class. This example does fuel the argument that CC is detrimental to our kids.

  10. After reading these comments it’s easy to see why America is in the shape it’s in. It is obvious that those who wish to destroy America, Christianity and our educational system simply profess to love America and christianity and then embrace the most vile disgusting behaviors imaginable and have them taught to our young impressionable children to destroy our society from within. It is a very sad day in our nation when people who have done so well in our society and politicians ban together to do this to Americas future. 

  11. @Anonymous — Paragraphs are your friend, use them. Three screens worth of incoherent ramblings will not be read. If you’re going to write a book, please do so in Word or OpenOffice and use the grammar and spelling checks, they are also your friends.

    This entire debacle is just a symptom of the degrading values of America at the direction of a 100-year old Progrssive agenda to destroy family and morality. If it’s possible to laugh in Hell, I’m sure that Woodrow Wilson is laughing right now.

    I remember in my school library that you needed a parental note to read Judy Blume…how the times have changed.

  12. @Si — Since you were kind enough to number your comments, I’ll retain that format for my rebuttal.

    1. “You’ll hand the keys of a vehicle to a 16yr old where they can run someone over or cause a fatal crash, but you’re scared of them reading words?” — This is a complete red herring…these two concepts have NOTHING to do with one another. This is a typical progressive tactic — make an outlandish comparison to distract from the original issue.

    It’s bad enough that 100 years of progressive agendas have structured our society and taxes such that it’s difficult to avoid the government indoctrination centers (AKA “public schools”). To then force-feed our children with reading material that does not align with our family values is just plain evil.

    2. “If you’d raised your children to be better people you wouldn’t be concerned that this book was a “how-to” manual for raping a woman.” Another outlandish statement…begin by insulting parents, then dismiss the problem. Perhaps you should be more concerned that ANY children would be reading such material. Would you give your middle-schooler a Hustler magazine? I didn’t think so. Oh, wait, you probably don’t have kids…I hope.

    3. “IT’S A BOOK. You know the last people who got all uppity about people reading things? NAZIS.” It’s the Triple Crown of bullcrap! Congratulations, you lose. (Refer to Godwin’s Law.) I WILL be “uppity” about what my child reads. That’s my job.

    “Grow up all of you, if you have raised and educated your children to be decent individuals, they would read the book, understand the lesson they were to learn from it then swiftly decide “that was messed up, don’t think i’ll read that one again” and toss it out the window. You people are worse than the inadequate parents who blame videogames for their childrens violence.”
    If we raised and educated our children to be decent individuals, we wouldn’t be force-feeding them this garbage. Again, your comparisons are only meant to inflame, not provoke honest discussion.

    It all boils down to this — Don’t force-feed my child your Progressive bullcrap in the government indoctrination centers that I can’t avoid becuse you have made it too expensive to send them to private school (or better yet, stay home and school them ourselves.)

    • I happen to agree with all of your statements, good sir. It’s the liberal tactic to just get in line and not to question authority. In a letter to his nephew, Thomas Jefferson told him to “question with boldness” when it came to politics or political issues, just like the guy in Maryland (Mr. Small) who questioned Common Core and was forcibly removed from the building by a cop.

  13. @Judith Arnold — Monica already responded to you, but I must add to her comments regarding this quote — “Either you did not research the Common Core before writing this or you are a tool of the NEA and their frantic desire to keep public school teachers from having their teaching ability evaluated by testing their students.”

    Do you understand that as a part of Common Core, the schools will have access to the contents of the tests? This will enable schools to demand that teachers “teach the test”, inflating the test scores artifically. You are absolutely mistaken if you think that Common Core will improve accountability in the classroom.

  14. Wow…these comments are mind blowing. To call concerned parents Nazis? Nazis controlled the people’s thoughts and forced the people to read and do only what they approved. Seems to me the group of name callers and those using exaggerated stories to attempt to make their point have the true Nazi mentality…CONTROL. There’s no local input with Common Core. There’s no choice with Common Core. There’s no parental involvement with Common Core. Our country will be walking robots all in step with Common Core instruction. No opposing views or original thought will be allowed. This country will become weaker as a result.

  15. This literature may be being used to sexually groom your child for the many perverts and homosexuals within the ranks of the teaching profession hiding behind the liberal label. I am not being hateful, just stating the facts from having been inside the ranks of teaching as a late entry into the profession and being shocked by what I heard and saw with total complicity or willful ignorance by the administration. While this book may not be required reading, I would be alarmed and suspicious of any teacher that chose to use this book.

    The school board is wrong in their vote and has opened themselves up to the sexual abuse of children claims and will soon lead the district into bankruptcy as lawsuit after lawsuit mounts when a child becomes sexually exploited. Any one reading the paper has seen the explosion across the nation of this phenomenon.

    This so call literature is age inappropriate, misogynistic and is void of the real intimacy of real relationships. Cognitively, a student’s brain is not fully developed until around age 22 and without a support mechanism in place could easily choose to act out the paragraphs above with an unwilling participant. Academia knows that at age 16/17, the majority of students are only responsible for 3 out of 4 rational decisions they make, so these passages are grossly negligent in assuring the safety of any child against that one wrong decision. Students with lower IQ’s have even lower rational decision making skills.

    I would almost guarantee that the authors were not random picks, but highly connected relatives to someone up the food chain to rake in money under the disguise of Common Core. One responder mentions Oprah so enough said, because she is ignorant.

    • “I would almost guarantee that the authors were not random picks, but highly connected relatives to someone up the food chain to rake in money under the disguise of Common Core. One responder mentions Oprah so enough said, because she is ignorant.”

      I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. Follow the money trail. Who will benefit from CC?

      sickening

  16. WOW!!! I can’t believe that the school board would allow this book to be read by their students. It’s very lewd and explicit. I know that this might not happen but I could see a lot of boys (young men) going out to try these things just to experiment ( as some would say). I would never allow my kids to read a book like that, not until they are like 30 or so. I’m sure that the author means well and tries to get people to understand more but sheesh I don’t think that it’s good material for children to .

  17. Wow…

    My middle daughter graduates next year and my youngest is supposed to start kindergarten. Looks like I’m changing my major and homeschooling my youngest.

  18. EVERY PARENT OF THAT SCHOOL NEED TO TAKE THEIR KIDS OUT OF IT AND FIGHT TRHIS SICK CRAP. THE AUTHOR SHOULD BE ARRESTED FOR HAVING THIS SICK VIOLENCE IN HI KEAD IF HE HASN’T ACTED ON IT YET, IT IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME AND HE IS PREYING ON YOUNG BOYS DO HIS DIRTY WORK.

  19. hahah. Common Core assigned that book to your child? What a joke. The link you posted is one for a Publisher. Trying to sell you the book. Id list it as great for common core too. Bet a few more people would buy it. This is hilarious.

  20. ……..and this is one of many reasons why I’ve been homeschooling for the past 12 years. Enough said….

  21. Who on here has actually read the entire book? If you haven’t, why don’t you, before you start commenting? You can then at least sound like informed individuals with differing opinions instead of ignorant gum flappers.

    People can bicker about this subject until the cows come home, but at least know what you are talking about. Sheesh.

  22. I was a high school English teacher for nearly a decade and am now a high school administrator. I have two degrees in literature, a BA and an MA, as well as a degree in school leadership (EdM). Toni Morrison is one of the most talented and important writers of the last 50 years, and it is quite clear to me that many of the people who commented above have no idea who Toni Morrison is, why she is so important, or why this book is so widely regarded and widely taught. From the comments here, it is clear very few (if any) of the commenting folks actually read this text, and the few who did do not seem to understand it. I taught The Bluest Eye for many years. It is one of the most powerful and important books I ever taught, and it provoked the best essays and arguably best classroom discussions of any text I taught in my years in the classroom. It is a gorgeously written book, and those passages are only a small window into that text. As a teacher, I suppose I look at it this way: I would rather have controversial topics that are a part of everyone’s lives be discussed, debated, and talked about in the safe confines of the classroom rather than in the buses, hallways, and bedrooms of students. There were no tenth or eleventh graders that I taught EVER who didn’t already know what sex, rape, and incest were before they read the book, and this book provided a launching pad for us to discuss the bigger questions that nag at each of us: Why do these things happen? Who does these things? Where and to whom? What does it say about our culture and our society that these issues persist? Why do authors feel compelled to write about them? Why is it important that they do so? To me, to NOT talk about these things in that setting, to assume high school age kids have no clue about the awfulness of humanity is a false assumption. I suppose I also believe that while it is wonderful that parents want to take the lead on discussing these things with their kids, there comes a point in every teenager’s life when it benefits them to hear other viewpoints, and to read and experience texts that offer some other way of looking at the world aside from the point of view taught within the four walls of their own home. To me, reading and learning about these things in the classroom is what growing up and learning is all about.

    • It is not your job nor your right to decide to expose your students to these topics. You are supposed to be teaching literature, not social issues. It is a parent’s decision to expose their children to such topics when and if they deem it necessary and appropriate.

      There is quite a difference between reading a historical account of Hitler and WWII, and reading “Mein Kampf”. I would never assign the latter book to my class, but I would teach the children the history of that time, what led up to it and how the German people were fooled by him.
      You, my friend, were overstepping your bounds.

    • Nicole,
      Thank you for your comments, you make the point that many believe in- that educational success does not necessarily correlate with moral or spiritual growth whatsoever. You go on at length to describe your educational and work background, congrats on your hard won achievements.
      To quote you “Toni Morrison is one of the most talented and important writers of the last 50 years, and it is quite clear to me that many of the people who commented above have no idea who Toni Morrison is, why she is so important, or why this book is so widely regarded and widely taught.” I submit to you it is because of the perverse and subversive nature of the text that you deem it so, because of your inwardly narcisstic nature, to not address the well being of the students you were charged with teaching.
      Would you not agree that a man, convicted of incest, child molestation and other heinous crimes should not be employed as a day care provider to children? I’m sure you would agree. Or would you argue that the man should be given a second, third and perhaps fourth chance? Would you argue that this isolated incident was an aberration in an otherwise upstanding and wholesome life? You see where this is going- so let’s cut to the chase.
      Young adults are sexually charged creatures who are learning and developing about their own bodies, their own sexuality, and the whole concept of sexual expression. Whilst some parents fret over finding a playboy or playgirl magazine showing the sex organs of attractive young people- you purport the lowest use of one of man’s greatest gifts, sexuality. Do you not think that some of the boys, while reading the randy parts of “Blue eye” became sexually aroused, their manhoods standing firmly at attention, or that some of the young ladies became a little aroused as well? Sure they did, you could show kids a pack of cards at that age and they would get aroused at the face cards. LOL By doing so they are actually sunconsciously learning that it is okay to be aroused by repulsive and reprehensible acts. Is not one of the first rules of education to not corrupt young minds?
      I put forth the challenge to you that you are wrong here, that you have to judge the “Work” in the context of the damage it may inflict. Matters about sexuality, if deemed pornographic and disturbing by a significant portion of parents should NEVER be used as a teaching tool. To do so admits that there is a dirth of other tools that may be used to teach. You need to back off here, these are NOT your children, they are yours only to teach, and your once wholesome profession has largely lost its respect and faith in the public eye precisely because of such narcisstic tendencies in those who call themselves educators. Climbing to the top of any educational path takes courage and hard work, but of what earthly good is it if you look down and find yourself not at the pinacle of educational achievement but a dung heap? I offer you a VERY radical educational notion- leave the kids sexuality alone- why don’t you endeavor to teach them things such as mathematics, reading, science, social studies, how to balance a check book? Leave the sexuality alone, you who submit you “Know better” often know the least and harm the most.

      • In response to both Alan and DMJ,

        I am not sure I have to make this point, but I will. I am not advocating that English teachers are, or should, teach about sex. I do think they should teach literature, and literature is writing that reflects the social and cultural “temperature” of the day, which often includes references and depictions of what actually happens out there in the world (much like the evening news). It is my firm belief that students can, and should, be exposed to works that touch upon the pressing social issues of the day, and that the best place for that is within the context of an educational environment. I am not trying to be condescending, but as a high school administrator who works one-on-one with teens daily, especially troubled teens, I can tell you that all of them are very aware of what is going on in the world around them, are looking for guidance in how to manage both their academic and personal lives, and while they are in the last stages of childhood, they have a very real stake in the adult world as well. To ignore that fact and assign only the “safest” and most censored of works to be read by a very intellectually hungry group of adolescents is to water down reality and to leave them woefully unprepared for the adult world that awaits them, often in just a few months.

        On a final note, I disagree that a teacher’s “job” is to merely teach censored, dry academics. I believe that every educator’s job is to prepare a child to be successful for the world that awaits them, whether it be college, the workforce, or life as a stay at home parent. A child should be prepared to become an adult who is aware of the world around him or her, can navigate that world effectively, can be an independent thinker, can solve problems, can have agency, can think critically, and can formulate informed opinions. A child should leave school as an adult who can read, write, and speak for him or herself. That, to me, is what an education is–not a prescribed set of facts in textbooks. As a teacher of English, I always felt that I had a hand in helping students to become those people by working with them through the most important written works of the day. I felt privileged to have the students who not only excelled in my class, but excelled in state exams and went on to some of the most competitive colleges. I believed then, when I taught, and I believe now, as an administrator, that to be an English teacher is an incredible honor because I feel that you have a widened opportunity to help students grow into successful young adults through the study and analysis of great literature.

        • Nicole, I would not want you teaching my kid or grandkid. You seem to not care about what the parents want and deem appropriate for their children. You only seem to care what YOU want and deem appropriate for other people’s children.
          A person can be aware of the ugliness of the world around them with immersing himself in it.
          BTW, as an English teacher, I am appalled that you use him/her and him/herself, as these are grammatically incorrect. Just another reason I wouldn’t want you teaching my kid.

      • I am also going to add, just on point of fact, that I took an entire graduate course called “Toni Morrison: Art and Politics” as part of my work on my Master’s degree. This course was through my graduate program at Middlebury College, often ranked the #1 liberal arts college in the country (currently ranked #4 by US News and World Report). The course was through the Bread Loaf School of English, which is a summer graduate program aimed directly at teachers–and one of the best in the country, if not the best graduate program for English teachers. Teaching Morrison is not an act of “narcissism,” nor is it a manifestation of my desire to “go rogue” and teach whatever suits my own personal agenda. Teaching Morrison’s work is teaching a text that is solidly within the canon of great literature. Interestingly enough, many of the teachers who attend Bread Loaf work at the very best private and public schools across the country. I think you might be well advised to understand that I am not alone as a teacher who thinks this text deserves to be taught.

        For reference: http://portal.middlebury.edu/catalog/course?catalogid=catalog%2FBLSE&topicid=topic%2Frequirement%2FIV&courseid=course%2FENGL7690&_b=%5B%7B%22t%22%3A%22Course+Catalog%22%2C%22lt%22%3A%22Course+Catalog%22%2C%22p%22%3A%22index%22%2C%22a%22%3A%22%22%7D%2C%7B%22t%22%3A%22BLSE%22%2C%22lt%22%3A%22Bread+Loaf+School+of+English+%28BLSE%29%22%2C%22p%22%3A%22browse%22%2C%22a%22%3A%22catalogid%3Dcatalog%252FBLSE%22%7D%2C%7B%22t%22%3Anull%2C%22lt%22%3A%22American+Literature%22%2C%22p%22%3A%22topic%22%2C%22a%22%3A%22catalogid%3Dcatalog%252FBLSE%26topicid%3Dtopic%252Frequirement%252FIV%22%7D%5D

        • Okay, I agree that many teachers can be wrong. The case of Toni Morrison “literature” proves the point.

  23. Discussion and explanation of the emotions and mentality that drive pedophilia is not necessarily encouragement of pedophilia.

    The Outsiders contains lots of violence, but I think that few would argue that it glorifies or encourages it.

    Reading about Hitler will not turn a person into a genocidal maniac. Reading about heroin use will not turn a person into a junkie. Reading about pedophilia will not turn a person into a pedophile.

    However, reading about WWII can help those who were not there avoid the mistakes that were made. Reading about heroin use can help sober policy makers to address the problem. Reading about pedophilia can help non-pedophiles to find ways to prevent pedophiles from hurting children.

    The only question is when a person is mature enough to understand and learn from these text.

    Unfortunately, there is no age for that, because people mature at different rates. However, in my experience, teenagers are often much more intelligent than adults give them credit for.

  24. I caught my kid reading this before I pulled the book out of his hands:
    Ezekiel 23:20
    20 There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.
    He may have been corrupted irreversibly from this passage. Any advice?

  25. The Bluest Eye… I remember reading it for my High School Literature class when I was a senior. I graduated in 2004 from a VERY RURAL public school. We all had to read it and write a report on it. Yes it had some racy parts to it, but it is ALL like that. You failed to highlight the entire point of the book.

  26. Clearly the only solution to this government-created problem is…more government!

    OMG,I feel better now! The answer was so easy!

  27. Parents stay involved with what your children are reading. Get a conversation going with them. Have open communication, not condemnation.

  28. I was abused as a child, and I was also compelled to read this book in 10th grade. Did it help me deal with the abuse? No. Was it triggering, violating, and deeply disturbing to me? Yes.

    • Your testimony is powerful and moving, God Bless and protect you.

  29. We have too many kids in this country who don’t read at all. At all. And they grow up, can’t read and certainly can’t write in a coherent many. If a little porn is going to get them to pick up a book by an amazing writer like Toni Morrison, I can live with it. By the way. My parents never censored my reading and I promise at sixty years old I’m just fine and darn sure I’m going to heaven. I really don’t think God cares.

    • Oh, you are part of the “it doesn’t matter what a child reads as long as he reads” crowd. Exposing children to ideas and images at inappropriate times is quite harmful. Perhaps 50 to 60 years ago there wasn’t the trash around that there is today, or perhaps you are just very resilient. Most kids, though, are easily swayed, warped and influenced by things and people they are exposed to. Just because it worked out for you (in your opinion) doesn’t mean it will work out well for everyone.

  30. I hate to point this out, folks, but all of this conversation about the Common Core requiring The Bluest Eye be taught is beside the point. First and foremost, the Common Core does not advocate any one particular text to be taught–schools and districts make those decisions. Second, The Bluest Eye is taught all over the country in public schools, private schools, and Catholic schools that have nothing to do with the Common Core…and it has been taught for many years since it was first published in the 1970′s. This is a widely regarded and widely taught text.

    All this energy spent on criticizing the Common Core seems a bit laughable. Criticize the text if you wish, but the Common Core has nothing to do with it.

  31. Just because this book is in a package of books reccommended by Prestwick House as a Common Core Literature Pack does not mean that it is endorsed by Common Core! It is up to the educator to review material and make sure that it is grade level appropriate!

    • You are incorrect. It was formally approved by the national Governors Association as Common Core approved. Its in the list.

  32. It is sad that this type of lit is being taught in HS. I think there are lots of other choices that could illicit the social conversation that these books do. I don’t think explicit sexual description is necessary for teaching. If kids or adults want to read explicit material they can do it on their own time. I am a supporter of the common core, but I didn’t know about these books on the list. However, it is important to note that the book list is a suggested one not a required one. Teachers don’t have to choose to teach these books. Just like in the curriculums taught to juniors today a teacher does not have to assign both the Scarlet Letter and the Crucible. My junior year we did both, my daughter only one. I wouldn’t say my experience was any better than hers, and I would say the lessons regarding the period were covered adequately. I will keep an eye on the books my daughter reads next year.

  33. I read this book when I was eighteen years old. Two years older than the average eleventh grader. The Bluest Eye is a difficult read at times and challenging the entire way through. It challenges you to face your own perceptions of: beauty, cultural affects on beauty, self-worth, society’s standards versus correct standards, the consequences of generational self-hatred, etc. Of all the books I’ve read, this book has stood out as one of the top five most influential, in a positive way. It’s been almost 10 years since I read it and I now have two children of my own. When I feel they are emotionally mature enough, I will encourage them to read this book.

    There are sexually graphic and awful parts of this book, but they are instrumental to the story. This story is an organic, living, true-to-life telling of a sad reality many people have lived and still live today. The ickier things detailed in the book happen in real life every single day and therefore are a necessary evil to tell the full tale. These unfortunate events are told by several different narrators, one of whom is a dark, dismal character. It’s terrible and uncomfortable, but many things in the world we will all have to eventually face are in fact, terrible and uncomfortable. At sixteen, most kids have a pretty clear understanding of this fact. I mean, they’re two years away from having the legal right to vote and serve their country.

    Anyone who has really, truly read this book in its entirety with thoughtful intent would never label it as pornography. That is a dishonest and misleading description. If you did read this book and chose to disregard the insightful core message to embark on an unnecessary sense of outrage, then, I sort of feel sad for you. The ideals explored in this book are important for any adult to delve into, especially a young adult who is trying to find their way. I don’t particularly like the Common Core program or think this book should be required reading for a high schooler, although it appears this is suggested reading, which I personally think is fine. I also believe a parent should have the ultimate say in the type of literature their children read. However, I do believe most everyone should read The Bluest Eye once in their life and consider intensely what it’s trying to say, instead of savagely writing it off as pornography based upon three excerpts.

    • People can understand that ugly things happen in this world without having to be subjected to every graphic detail of that ugliness. In fact, the graphic details can actually make people de-sensitized to that ugliness.

    • Sam, As one who has worked for several years in an ED setting I can tell you that I know how quite well the havoc that man and womankind can wreak on one another. That you chose to subject your kids to this level of graphic detail says volumes about the effect of its desensitizing effect on you. The pornographic parts are un necessary. Most of us were not alive to accept the Nazis did some horrible medical experiments to living subjects, but is it really necessary to put the graphic details in front of our kids to get the point across? The answer is no. I am no prude but I find this crap offensive on many levels, not the least of which is the graphic exposition on sexual exploitation. I don’t know what line of work you are in, but as a nurse I have seen and had to deal with my share of horrors. Perhaps one day I can come over and see if you enjoy some of them over a large greasy pizza. I don’t hate you man, but the fact that you won’t admit this stuff is porno is troubling, and telling. Kids are in school to learn tools to prepare them for life. Is it really necessary to tell them what a rapists anal muscles are doing? I think YOU know the answer to that as well as I do. God Bless ya

  34. 1. This book is quality literature. It is deep, stirring, and has great value to those who understand its purpose and context.
    2. This book is not appropriate to be taught in high schools.

    Most students will not be able to understand the context and themes in the book. Most students will not be able to appreciate the message that the author intends. Further, it is way too sensitive of a subject. Considering how many young women are raped and molested, this book has serious potential to trigger memories, thoughts, etc.

  35. So, I agree with most things on your blog, but i think that this article was really taken out of context. But more importantly, i went around and called some high schools in my city and asked them when this book was read. The responses i got were all Senior Level courses, and a large majority were “dual-credit” which was described to me as a type of honors college level course that was above regular courses but below AP courses. This being the case, I’m pretty sure that someone 17-19 is more than mature to understand the context(of which you took the quotes out of) and the actual messages of the book. Personally i expected much more out of this blog and i am frankly disappointed at the quality and lack of research in this article.

  36. I could see how some would be upset at their kids reading The Bluest Eye, but to call it “pornography” is absurd. Let me say this. I live in the State of Georgia and yes, our state adopted the Common Core Standards BUT the curriculum itself was drawn up by a diverse group of people and our Governor advocated that citizens get involved in the process. My issue with my fellow conservatives is an ACTIVE involvement in this process and others. Instead of standing on the sidelines and raging, GET INVOLVED

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