School District Bans Dictionary After Student Finds Definition of Oral Sex

Via Alex Tabarrok, who comments, "words fail me—and now apparently also the students in Menifee."

The Menifee Union School District is forming a committee to review whether dictionaries containing the definitions for sexual terms should be permanently banned from the district's classrooms, a district official said Friday.

The 9,000-student K-8 district this week pulled all copies of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary after an Oak Meadows Elementary School parent complained about a child stumbling across definitions for "oral sex."

The decision was made without consultation with the district's school board and has raised concerns among First Amendment experts and some parents.

Other parents and Menifee residents, though, have praised the district's decision, saying a collegiate-level dictionary is inappropriate for younger children.

Since no child will ever think to look up anything on the Internet, this will definitely work.

(Update: Speed-blogger Radley Balko previously noted this story on Monday.)

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  • Joe M||

    Well it's the "collegiate" dictionary, what do they expect? Is there an "elementary" dictionary they could use? "Pre-pubescent," perhaps?

  • ||

    There is an Elementary Dictionary, which is why this is silly.

    http://www.amazon.com/Merriam-.....0877795754

  • Joe M||

    Wow. So this has an obvious, easy solution. I might actually buy a copy of that Elementary version someday for my own kids.

  • Spartacus||

    So, was the kid looking up "oral" or "sex"? How do you "stumble across" such a definition?

  • DBN||

    I'm willing to be the dictionary contained the word "fellatio," not the term "oral sex."

  • Spartacus||

    I predict this thread will set a record for use of quotation marks.

  • Brett L||

    Meh. If some of the junior high or high school kids learn that many adults are hyperventilating killjoys whom one probably doesn't want to become, the lesson is cheap.

  • Joe M||

    Hmmm, probably wouldn't want to use the word "pre-pubescent," because then they'd want to know the definition of "pubescent."

  • ||

    So? Its not like "pubescent" would be in the Pre-Pubescent edition.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Where can I get my girlfriend a copy of that dictionary?

  • good news/bad news||

    Ask her boyfriend for it.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    How dare you turn my joke back around on me!

  • good news/bad news||

    You make it too easy and fun ;-)

  • Yippeee||

    Speaking of turning around, tell your girlfriend to stop doing it during sex. Having to look at her face is unnerving.

  • good news/bad news||

    That's not her face

  • triangleman||

    Fire everyone. Put all of those children to work on the farm. Why do taxpayers have to subsidize children googling their favorite sex acts when they can do that perfectly well at home?

  • Brett L||

    You're really Mao Tse Tung, aren't you?

  • ||

    a collegiate-level dictionary is inappropriate for younger children.

    Reminds me of the 21 drinking age. Let's forbid Timmy from "bad" information until he's in college. Then he'll wake up on his first day of classes ready and able to handle it as a mature adult.

  • dictionaries to keyboards||

    Was this story not already covered by Radley Balko | January 25, 2010? I am starting to think these guys just like to type oral sex.

  • Spoonman||

    Uh...Wasn't this on a few days ago?

  • Internal affairs||

    Spoonman, sorry for the confusion but the conversation went like this: "I'll do oral sex" , "No you do oral sex", "I'll do it", "No, I'll do it", "Do it" and next thing you know we both did it.

  • Internal affairs||

    We have cum to the satisfactory conclusion that both Radley and Peter like oral sex.

  • Internal affairs||

    We have cum to the satisfactory conclusion that both Radley and Peter like oral sex.

  • EJM||

  • ||

    When will "liberals" learn the correct lesson from this kind of story: that pointless kerfuffles like this arise inevitably when the government (through taxes that prohibit options for lower-income households) has a near-monopoly on K-12 education?

  • ||

    (If Reason can repeat the story, I can copy and paste my earlier comment.)

  • Titman ||

    I recall being in 5th grade and looking up "breast" in the dictionary. The definition contained the word protuberance. Is there any word hotter than protuberance?

  • Hugh Akston||

    She pulled the sensible sweater over her head, removed the score of bobby pins keeping her tightly bunned hair in place and shook it out. In her wild abandon, she nearly lost the sprawling square glasses resting pertly on the bridge of her nose. She would have too, if not for the beaded chain securing them around her neck.

    Betti slowly undid the buttons of her creamy silk blouse, and managed something approximating a seductive smile as she reached behind her back to release hooks of her faded, flesh-tone brassier. The garment slid down her pale, wattled arms and she dropped it in a great lump on the hard tile floor.

    Kyle looked up, taking in the view as if he were a child first reading the dictionary, admiring her fleshy, quivering protuberances in all their glory.

    "Take me Kyle," she breathed. "Perform oral sex on me."

  • jim||

    that's awesome

  • ||

    Italics make everything sexier.

  • The Gobbler||

    +1

  • Kyle||

    "Hold on, let me look that up."

  • Jake||

    I'll be in my bunk

  • movie or not||

    Hugh,ok, I found were you plagiarized most of it or perhaps this is a compilation of B movies. Nice time capsule terminology.

  • The Gobbler||

    a child stumbling across definitions for "oral sex."

    Stumbling my ass.

  • ||

    Would you prefer "pulling out" a definition?

    Or "sucking up"?

    Or "coming upon"?

  • Old Mexican||

    I wonder if the ban would not have been considered if the dictionary had a definition for fellatio.

  • Sudden||

    I don't think he "stumbled" upon it. He probably found it at first in the thesaurus when he was looking up synonyms for the Chris Matthews' treatment of Obama. He just wanted to take a look inside the the dictionary to make sure it actually was the appropriate terms, which evidently it is.

  • ||

    Sheeeeeiiiiiit. You'd think educators would be happy that the kids wanted to incorporate correct spelling/accurate terminology into their sexting.

  • ||

    Win

  • Single-barrel Bob||

    Resolved with a compromise solution. Details here.

  • Joe M||

    Freakin' brilliant! This was all planned. Now they'll have kids fighting over the chance to read the "adult" dictionary. Awesome.

  • ||

    One (not me of course) wonders whether "knobjob" or "waxing his jimmy" is in the dictionary.

  • VikingMoose||

    sorta like the tv series "Mr. Rhodes" where the headmaster tried banning all euphemisms for sex.

    and Sparticus. "you're right" is the answer to the guess that this thread would "set a record" for quotation marks.

  • ||

    When the crude jokes available to make are beyond the capacity of even my dead soul, I must stand in awe of this post.

  • ||

    Chilling. You can't teach it if its not in the book, I guess. Yet another instance of information control.

    I get that maybe parents don't want their younguns exposed to certain adult acts at a certain age - yet they expect schools to provide sex ed to spare them the embarrassment. Weren't the kids in question in 5th or 6th grade? By that time, I'd had the "sex talk" delivered by none other than the kindly Felician Sisters who ran my Catholic school. They didn't quite teach us about oral sex, but were liberal with the factual information. I looked up the really titillating stuff in...uhhh...the dictionary.

    This is nothing more than knee-jerking to parental hysteria. But it does raise some concerns as to the domain of information that is OK to give in school versus information that should only be received in the home. It actually makes a fair argument for school choice and privatization, and home-schooling too. If you do not want your children exposed to knowledge that is for the most part in the public domain, keep them out of the public sphere for as long as you feel necessary.

    Question for the guys here: by 5th grade, were you or were you not actively seeking out any and all sexual situations that your little mind could find? I remember 5th and 6th grade as being very sexually charged times - not as in the actual act of sex, but in the crude jokes and gender differentiated behavior that manifested during that age.

  • ||

    I had already found Dad's stach of mags under the mattress by 4th grade. Hustler's pictorial of "The Wife Tasting Contest" still lingers in the mind.

    But I can't remember if expectoration buckets were provided.

  • ||

    Madbiker,

    I sometimes forget that there are still normal people like you around here. It's hard for me to turn it off.

  • The Gobbler||

    ""The Wife Tasting Contest""

    I remember a similar (but not the same) piece in a Hustler magazine. The winner tasted like "steak dipped in drawn butter". You never forget stuff like that.

  • ||

    Maybe, I'm an ass, but I don't think the term needs be there. There are a lot of multi-word terms not in the dictionary. I just looked up "oral sex" in my Webster's, and it's not there. Any person who wants to know only has to know "oral" and "sex"

  • RuthenianCowboy||

    Samuel Johnson: "Sir, I hope you are not using the first English dictionary to look up rude words!"

    Edmund Blackadder: "I wouldn't be too hopeful — that's what all the other ones will be used for."

  • B||

    They should ban the dictionary, the kids should be learning about sex the "normal" way through the internet, television, and street encounters.

  • B||

    They should ban the dictionary, the kids should be learning about sex the "normal" way through the internet, television, and street encounters.

  • ||

    Actually, little Jimmy was looking up "salad tossing" when he stumbled across "fellatio". That set him off wondering what "rimjob" meant and then of course, the next thing you know, he was looking for the meaning of "rusty trombone" and "dirty Sanchez."

    This was all for his book report for Mrs. Thutwhiler's English class, which was due the next day.

  • ||

    Then looking for "Cleveland Steamer."

  • Hugh Akston||

    Still can't find the definition for a Salmon Helmet.

  • Ice||

    That reminds of the time back in 5th grade when my mom asked if kids on my bus where having oral sex.
    I had no idea what that was and I thought it just meant talking about sex.

  • ||

    This is yet another example of people who don't have a friggin' clue what's going on out there in real life freaking out about something so stupid... They should pop by school yard for some education on what their innocent youngsters know. Nevermind remembering what they knew at that age themselves "why does everyone giggle when they call those protesters teabaggers mommy?"

    F'n arsholes

  • Old Mexican||

    I wonder what would happen if the school decided to represent Hair in their school theater.

  • Gene Berkman||

    Menifee is in the most conservative part of Riverside County - practically San Diego County.

    I live in the more urbane city of Riverside. many miles north of Menifee. Plenty of dictionaries around here.

  • ||

    saying a collegiate-level dictionary is inappropriate for younger children

    That's the kind of attitude that keeps kids from making it into college.

    Also, fuck reading the dictionary. When i was in school, i read the encyclopedias. Which might explain why i love wikipedia so much today.

  • cbmclean||

    "Also, fuck reading the dictionary. When i was in school, i read the encyclopedias. Which might explain why i love wikipedia so much today."

    You area kindred soul. I too spent as much time as I could leafing through the encyclopedias. I too now spend countless hours just meandering through wikipedia In fact, keeping with the topic of the thread, I first learned about the physical mechanics of sex through a classroom encyclopedia in 4th grade. I believe they were World Books.

    Our one difference may maybe that I did also enjoy the dictionary from time to time. I especially like looking at the unabridged dictionaries and using them to look up the definition of very large numbers: duodecillion etc.

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