No Way Library Should Remove Book on Puberty from Shelves
For the second month in a row, the Cass County Public Libary Board of Trustees meeting had people protesting the library's inclusion of "It's Perfectly Normal" by Robbie Harris in the children's section of the library. This is according to a report from KMBC.
The synopsis of the book on Amazaon.com says:
When young people have questions about sex, real answers can be hard to find. Providing accurate, unbiased answers to nearly every imaginable question, from conception and puberty to birth control and AIDS, It's Perfectly Normal offers young people the information they need — now more than ever — to make responsible decisions and to stay healthy.
Amazon's description goes on to say the book discusses birth control, hepatitis, HIV, and adoption. And the latest edition reflects the input of parents, teachers, librarians, clergy, scientists, health professionals, and young readers.
The KMBC report boils it down. There are the parents who believe the content goes into too much detail and isn't appropriate for kids. Some protestors find the pictures, definitions, and instructions on all types of different sexual behaviors to be too detailed. And some parents just don't want their kids to be able to access the content.
Those who support the library argue it could be a helpful tool for parents struggling to discuss a difficult topic with their kids. And as one supporter told KMBC, no one is being forced to check the book out or look at it.
In my opinion, this smells like one of those "protect the children" campaigns where the community could lose out on a resource, so some parents can feel better that their kids have no chance of being exposed to something, that they might not want their kids to see.
And I think there are some problems with that.
One, The children's department at the library serves a wide-ranging group of kids from tots to teens. Not every book on the shelf is appropriate for every age.
Secondly, Your kid is way less sheltered than you think. I could submit to you the picture of a friend of mine licking the picture of a model on a Duran Duran album during a sleepover in junior high. There was definitely some racy talk that probably wouldn't have been parent-approved at that sleepover. I could also show you the picture of a friend in high school whose girlfriends gave her a toy, if you know what I mean, for her birthday.
Your kids do not necessarily know more than you think they know. But they think they do. So I'm not sure trying to shelter them from this book changes anything. And honestly, giggling at the pictures in this book with their tween friends gathered around a table at the library might be more healthy and normal, than doing the same on some computer porn site that could warp their tween minds.
Finally, you're the parent. You think the book isn't appropriate for your kid, don't let them read it. But you need to be involved in parenting. It's not the library's job. And frankly, why should those parents who might be inclined to read or discuss the book with their kid be denied the ability to check it out from the library because YOU don't want YOUR kid to read it?
Raise your kids right. Raise them with morals. Raise them to make good decisions. Raise them the way you were or should have been raised. Trust them to make good decisions. They won't all the time, but that's OK. They might even giggle at the pictures in this book with their friends as tweens do. But they'll turn it out alright, and you'll have protected your kid.