School Making Kids Get Permission Slips to Check Out YA Books Is Doing Parents a Favor

teens readingA Delaware school board is considering a motion to require students to get permission slips to check out Young Adult novels from the school library. On first reading this, it may sound a bit fascist but here is why is may be a brilliant idea.


The entire issue was sparked after a parent got upset when her son became uncomfortable by the sexual abuse in Identical, a novel about teen twins who lead a dark and twisted life. The book was given to students as part of an after-school reading club. 

The disgruntled mom has since sent out a petition that asks the school to explain the rationale for assigning the YA book and then get parental permission before giving it to the students. Admittedly, this does seem a bit over-the-top. At some points, kids will have to be introduced to and learn how to cope with emotionally complicated issues -- including sex. However, I think that should be up to the discretion of parents.

The reason? We live in a time when it's so hard to control the information thrown at our children. They are learning things years earlier than we ever did -- thanks mostly to the Internet and social media. This could be one area where we can monitor what our kids are reading. And if the majority of parents still feel like having a signed permission slip is ridiculous and unnecessary, I am sure most would appreciate at least knowing the subject matter of the young adult books assigned. That way, we can have discussions with them about the things they are reading and help them deal with any questions that may arise.

Do you think requiring signed permission slips is a good idea?


Image via © Kaori Ando/Corbis

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