Parents Freak Out Over '50 Shades for Kids' Being Required Reading at School

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Nothing gets parents' knickers in a twist more than the idea their kids might get their knickers twisted with a little self exploration. Masturbation is an instinctual and natural act that causes no harm whatsoever, but still kids are shamed out of it. One group of parents in Queens, New York got so alarmed about an award-winning book that had some passages about masturbation in it that the book was removed from the required reading list. Didn't these parents ever read Are You There God? It's Me Margaret?!

The book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, contains passages such as:

And if God hadn’t wanted us to masturbate, then God wouldn’t have given us thumbs. So I thank God for my thumbs.

Ooooooh. Horrors. One parent went so far as to compare the book to one that contains about a gajillion sex scenes, and you probably know what book I'm talking about it. Said mom Kelly-Ann McMullan-Preiss, who refused to let her son read the book:

It’s about ... masturbation — which is not appropriate for my child to learn at 11. It was like 50 Shades of Grey for kids.


Who are these parents who read through their kids' summer reading lists looking for dirty bits anyway? Don't they have things to do?

I wonder how many of these parents would be fine with their kids reading a book about a kid who has a gun. Or who even give their kids guns!

But masturbation? Woah. Now that's some dangerous stuff!

Here's a clue parents: At 11, your kid is either masturbating, has heard about it, has considered it, or will start doing it within the next few years. And who cares? How exactly would this harm your child? No, it won't make your child any more sexually active than not knowing about masturbation.

Said the author, Sherman Alexie, about the taboo subject:

To pretend that kids aren’t dealing with this on an hour-by-hour basis is a form of denial.

As the book says, "Everybody does it. And everybody likes it."

But not some parents, apparently. At least not if their kids are doing the liking!

Do you think these parents overreacted?


Image via hpeguk/Flickr

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tcfla tcfla

i'm betting most of the parents that had a problem with this, were the parents of boys and that didn't have an older daughter.  Because those with daughters most likely have had to already discuss many of these subjects due to the fact many young ladies get their period around 11 years old.  But as parents they should have a right to decide what their children read prior to high school years. 

B1Bomber B1Bomber

I wouldn't want my eleven year old reading that either. I read all the books on the summer reading lists as a teacher and plan to do so as a parent. There are innumreable fantastic, age appropriate books out there for all ages. Why schools insist on sexualized topics baffles me.

katyq katyq

God forbid a tween should read a sentence about something as natural  as this.

MamaT... MamaTo2b2g

I don't know. 11 is a little young for this. High school, sure, 11, no.

Judy Pope

my 16 year old reads what ever she likes and I encourage her to explore her world however my 13 year old is a different story, this is a child that did not feel comfortable in his sex ed class and whom it is impossible to talk with about sex so for him a book that discusses masturbation would be very inappropriate. Bottom line I am the parent ,I know my child and their maturity and comfort levels and I have evry rigt to decide if the material they are reading is appropriate or not and absolutely 11 years old is too young.

Brain... BrainyMommy

Sixth graders are dealing with issues of masturbation but I'm not convinced that's the correct grade for this particular book. I'd ramp it up to 8th grade material.

NewMo... NewMommie_20

It's a parent's right to decide when to talk to their child about sex and masturbation.  I wouldn't let my child read the book either.  My child is only a year old now but, in the future, when I decide the time is right I will discuss the things with her.

ashjo85 ashjo85

11 is a little bit of an iffy age. High school, no issue. I read Snow Falling On Cedars and many other books in high school that touched on or actively included sex. I was probably 15 before masturbation was even a thing for me. There's probably better choices out there at 11.

nonmember avatar Crystal

Is that the only phrase?

my soon to be 11 year old would probably blush and read on or.... *gasp* ask me about it.

Parents have the right to say something when they feel the material is inappropriate, but masterbation (especially presented like that) at 11 seems pretty spot on to me.

nonmember avatar Kelly-Ann

Wow interesting comments here, didn't know what I said in article would get such a reaction!!! There were other issues with the book, it wasn't just based on this one subject! Trust me!!! And 11 years old is not appropriate for this book!!!!! I stand by what I say!!!

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