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Censorship Gambit Alive And Well: "We're Only Protecting The Little Children"

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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 02:50 PM
Original message
Censorship Gambit Alive And Well: "We're Only Protecting The Little Children"
Cross River Students Suspended For Saying 'Vagina' At Open Mic Session

By DIANA COSTELLO AND SUSAN ELAN
THE JOURNAL NEWS
Speak out
Original publication: March 6, 2007

CROSS RIVER - Saying the word "vagina" during a reading at a John Jay High School open mic session has resulted in suspension for three female students and has sparked a debate about censorship throughout the community.

School administrators had warned the girls it would be inappropriate to say the word while reading a selection from Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues," but the students were willing to suffer the consequences.

Now Ensler, a playwright and feminist who grew up in Scarsdale, has offered to visit the Katonah-Lewisboro school district to discuss the matter.

Juniors Megan Reback, Elan Stahl and Hannah Levinson will each serve separate one-day, in-school suspensions this week, Reback said.

"When I was able to say the word 'vagina' and be proud to say it and it wasn't crude and it wasn't inappropriate and it was very real and very pure, it was important to me," Reback said yesterday. "We were willing and ready to take whatever came."

The administrators' decision to suspend the girls has caused an uproar within the school, with students making T-shirts and posters to protest the punishment. A group opposed to the suspension has been created on Facebook.com, a popular Internet networking site, and had attracted more than 350 members yesterday.

The move has prompted parents to write to the Board of Education and circulate e-mails calling the suspension a "blatant attempt at censorship."

School board President Peter Breslin said the decision to suspend the students was not about censorship, but rather about insubordination. He said school administrators had been concerned about the use of the word because young children would be at the open mic session, and the girls had agreed not to say it.

more: http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070306/NEWS02/703060363/1018&GID=xi+6X4FdPrduoI2j4z90HCGbIVUKXnx7c7Gbd64k1iw=


*** - So what happens to "young children" when they hear the word vagina? Or penis? Do they become obsessed with sex? Does it stunt their growth? Do they go and ask mommy and daddy a lot of uncomfortable questions like: "do I have a vagina or a penis? And... and.... what's it for???"

And what were these "young children" they're protecting, doing at a high school open mic session anyway? I'm telling you that if a person reaches high school and has never heard the word vagina before, whose fault is that? And given that fact that its pronounced liberally on TV and everywhere else, what's the point? But this jackass -- the school board guy saying that the suspension wasn't about "censorship" but about "insubordination" is just pure BULLSHIT. And it's statements like these that make me hate politicians and bureaucrats. There is no insubordination if there is no censorship you pea-brain!

:rant:
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PDJane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Oh, for...........
What rock did these people crawl out from under?

I would rather have a child who knows the words and understands what the function is than a child kept in the dark until someone enlightens him/her/it in public school.

Insubordination. Wasn't that the reason that Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden?



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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. They were kicked out....
...for not following the rules. See, even though god had a whole world in which to plant that "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (probably a marijuana plant and the "fruits" were actually buds), he chose to put that dang thing right in the their faces and then say: "You can't touch this." (ala M.C.Hammer - it was still early days back then).

And so Eve was kicked out for being "beguiled" by a snake. Another one of god's oversights. He should have called Orkin. And Adam was kicked out for being a doofus and listening to his girlfriend. I mean after she ate it, he couldn't be a wuss and not eat some too.

At least that's my take on it.....

:shrug:
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PDJane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. *snort*
It's still the insubordination thing........they weren't kicked out for the actual deed, but for not following the rules.

Of course, it's possible that Adam ate of the apple first, and thus learned to blame Eve........
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
2. "about insubordination"
x(

That asshole School Board President came right out and said it. It's about obedience. Regardless of whether or not there's a valid reason for it, always obey the school administrators, or else.

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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Why, why, why.....
...we can't have school kids asking questions. They could mess around and accidentially learn something.....
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melody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
3. insubordination?
Have they militarized the high schools since I was last in one?

The school board moron in question is acting like a Alpha primate and nothing more.
Congrats, Cross River, you've got a gorilla in charge of your secondary students.
(My apologies to gorillas everywhere)
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. One can only wonder....
...what the teachers are allowed to call human genitalia in health class. They do still have those don't they???

:shrug:
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rkc3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. I read the word vagina and masturbated at work.
Edited on Tue Mar-06-07 03:08 PM by rkc3
Things are a bit slow at Focus on the Family today.

James Dobson, PhD


Sorry - I had to lighten things up a bit.

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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. Its ALWAYS slow....
...at Focus on the Family.



:o
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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
6. So what to they censure next?
Mouth...because they use that for kissing. How about the hand they use that for caressing. This is without a doubt the most asinine thing I have ever heard. The thing is........the fact that the word vagina is a dirty word to some is that they are obsessed with sex, otherwise it would only be a word describing a part of the body.
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. They could censure....
....the school board president's mouth. I don't have a problem with that.

:hi:
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
9. spoke to the assistant principal, Lisa Kor a bit ago. a few things not explained.
Just got off the phone with the assistant principal --Lisa Kor. apparently a few things were left
Posted by niyad in General Discussion
Tue Mar 06th 2007, 07:40 PM
out of the article, which might make things look just a little less horrible for the school (or not)

As the article said, this was an open mic night--a poetry thing to which the whole community is invited. Ms. Kor said that they did not know that the young women intended to read from the VM until noon of the day of the event. Her concern was that there was not time to let the public know that there might be some material that people who might be bringing younger children might find a bit adult. She told me that had the event not been community wide-or had they had enough time to let people know, that she would have allowed it without any problems. One of the other concerns was that the event was being filmed, for local access cable.

She told me that she applauds the girls' moral compass, their willingness to do what they think is right, and to accept the consequences of their actions. She is proud of them.

She also told me that there is going to be a press conference later today to talk about this. (She also wanted to know how a person in CO had found out about it, didn't enlighten her.)

So, I don't know if this makes things any better or not. I explained that my reaction was based, in part, on living here in fundieville with all the little "sex is evil, sex is dirty" morans, and that was what it looked like to me.

By the way, she also indicated that she is a liberal.
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Well on the surface that "sounds" somewhat more reasonable....
Except, I wonder that given that this is "open mic" night, where's the spontaneity in that? And do they check what everyone else is going to speak about? Or was it because of their subject being about the Vagina Monologues that tipped the scales?

And I still have to wonder about the supposed deleterious effects of "small kids" being exposed to the correct words for body parts. It just seems to me that its the grownups who have the problem and not the kids so much. Without the correct verbiage, they'll just end up using street words for it (like I did), and then I guess when they get to high school they can be suspended for passing notes and speaking vulgarities.

So it would seem that they're damned if they do and damned if they don't.

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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-07-07 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. Do materials generally have to be pre-approved?
If the school punished them for speech within an open forum, then the school has engaged in content discrimination and has probably run afoul of the First Amendment.
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