Exhibit A: West Des Moines Community Schools:
The Walnut Creek library is a quiet place to work on homework or read. It is located between Perry and David in the eco room. Every once in a while, though, the library is not so quiet. On October 30th, the library hosted a Zombie Party. Students talked about their favorite zombie books, shared new zombie book arrivals to the library, ate zombie treats, and played “pin the liver on the zombie”.
There are other new arrivals to the library this month as well. They include more books by Sarah Dessen and James Patterson, the new autobiography of Mackenzie Phillips, many graphic novels, and The Oxford Project, a photographic time capsule based on the citizens of Oxford, IA, by Peter Feldstein and Stephen Bloom.
Ok, Zombie Party, not thrilled with it, but I can deal (I think the pin the liver on the Zombie idea is funny). What I find interesting is that they are using Mackenzie Phillips (of The Mamas and the Papas) autobiography, High on Arrival as a way to promote the library.
You may not be aware of what Walnut Creek Campus. It is their alternative school. So they have at-risk/high-risk youth. Working with adolescents for almost 18 years, at-risk/high-risk youth for the last 10, I can tell you they need to read about positive role models. A book that not explicitly highlights her drug use, sex, and to top it off her consensual incestuous relationship with her father, John Phillips.
Not calling for a book burning, but I do think that district officials and the WCC’s librarian should exercise some common sense.
Exhibit B: From the Des Moines Public Schools:
An art teacher at Wright Elementary, Karen Maresh, is being getting investigated by school officials (at least they are acting on this) and the Des Moines Police! Why? For starters being incredibly stupid, but The Des Moines Register reports:
According to a police report, Sarah Foster contacted police Friday after her 9-year-old son told her that his art teacher showed a “gross video” during class. The YouTube video of artist Keith Haring displayed a picture of two males masturbating each other with “Safe Sex” written above it. Foster also complained about a second picture that showed male genitalia.
District officials placed visual arts teacher Karen Maresh on paid leave Monday following the May 17 incident, said Twyla Woods, chief of staff for the Des Moines school district. She declined to disclose the details of what happened, saying it was a personnel matter.
Maresh is an art teacher at Wright and the Focus program, according to the district’s website.
Wow, you’d think she’d realize that is inappropriate at the very least, if not illegal. That would require her to have some common sense though.
So if I ever question our decision to homeschool I’ll just have to pull these little gems from the file as a reminder.