Censorship

Ender's Game Isn't Porn, Teacher Who Read the Book Aloud Won't Go to Jail

|

skip to the places where the spine is creased, trust me

An Aiken, South Carolina, a middle school teacher has been placed on administrative leave this month after the mother of a 14-year-old student complained about a "pornographic" book that had been read aloud in class. 

That book, apparently, was the well-known erotic classic Ender's Game

The teacher read from two other books as well—an Agatha Christie novel and a young adult Western. The school district requires teachers to clear reading material for kids in advance, and that may not have happened in this case.

But for crying out loud, people, it's Ender's Game. Being 14- or 15 years-old means you are the perfect audience for the book—wait another year or two and you are already a little too old to identify with Andrew Wiggin. As a former (ever-so-slightly) disaffected teenager who hit the Orson Scott Card pretty hard in middle school, I cannot speak highly enough about its salutary effects as an introduction to science fiction (and anti-authoritarianism, to boot).

Come to think of it, the other gateway drug book I indulged in right around the same time was The Fountainhead. (Which, in case you don't know, has some actual naughty bits in it.) I found Ender's Game on my own, but The Fountainhead was given to me by an English teacher, along with a suggestion that I enter the Ayn Rand Institute's essay contest. Why? Because she wanted to corrupt my young mind with porn. Nope! Because she was a pretty good teacher who made a pedagogical call about my readiness to be exposed to some big ideas. That's how these things are supposed to work.

Worse, administrative leave and professional freedom were the least of that beleaguered teacher's worries last week; the police were called in, too. So how did one dumb parent wind up getting the cops involved in what should have been an uncontroversially awesome book recommendation? The mom actually called the cops herself, after initiating discussions with the school. But even if she hadn't:

State law requires that school administrators must notify local law enforcement officers whenever possible criminal activity is alleged. This is the third time in recent months that police were notified of an alleged incident by a parent before the school district reported it to law enforcement.

Luckily, the teacher won't face charges and the police investigation is already closed.

Via io9.