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Novel with 'pornography' pulled from Nampa High class

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Scott Kido

Posted: Monday, September 24, 2012 9:15 am | Updated: 4:03 pm, Mon Sep 24, 2012.

NAMPA — A novel one Nampa parent said had “an immense amount of pornography” has been removed from sophomore English classes at Nampa High School.

Nampa School Board Chairman Scott Kido said he received 15 emails Sunday night complaining about the book “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel.

“I agreed it seemed inappropriate. It's soon to be pulled,” Kido said Monday.

The book contains passages with descriptions of sexual encounters between characters.

Kido said he spoke with Nampa High School principal Pete Koehler and they agreed concerns about the book are “valid.”

The parent quoted 13 passages from the book in her email to demonstrate her point.

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Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • SydneyJ posted at 5:03 pm on Mon, Sep 24, 2012.

    SydneyJ Posts: 1

    I wonder, have those fifteen parent complainers even read the book? As someone who read Like Water for Chocolate, a classic piece of Hispanic Literature, in high school; I find this all to be ridiculous. Laura Esquivel introduces a whole culture through her imagery and writing techniques. One moment you’re learning a new recipe the next you are engulfed in a story of heartbreak, a story of traditions. I also find it hard to believe that all “13 passages” were quoted in context; though 13 passages in a 250-some pages, isn’t that much. Sure, there are naked moments and sex scenes but do you parents honestly think your kids haven’t seen a sex scene in any sort of movie they watch? For crying in the dark, these days you can watch equivalent scenes on the television.

    Here’s another little not-so-secret secret for you fifteen complainers and supporters of said complaints, your child will one day have sex if he or she hasn’t already. Do you remember how you made said child? By sex, right? Unless you are some sort of alien asexual being the human race doesn’t know about yet. Also, if you have a teenage girl, they’ve probably read the Twilight Saga, did you know there’s a fairly descriptive sex scene in that which contains little to no artistic merit, it’s merely Edward and Bella having sex for the first time. Then why is it such a big deal for them to read about it in a book that uses sex to demonstrate traditions and values?

    Let’s examine for a moment, if you please, the great Shakespearean classic Romeo and Juliet, also taught in high school classes across the nation. Completely filled with sexual innuendo; actually, it’s hard to find a Shakespearean play that isn’t. When your child can’t understand what the text is saying and it’s an “English Classic,” that’s when it’s appropriate for them to read it in class? Shouldn’t you think a little more highly of the fruit of your loin?

    If you’re worried about the message that Like Water for Chocolate will give your kids, do you ever stop to think about the fact that Romeo and Juliet kill themselves because the star-crossed lovers can’t be with each other? That Hamlet’s uncle Claudius, kills the king, Hamlet’s father, to take his throne and marry his wife? How about the four lovers in Midsummer’s Night Dream? Or in Of Mice and Men when Lennie kills the puppy or the woman? What’d you think of that ending when George murders Lennie because it’s the most humane thing that can be done for him? Never got to the end? Spoiler Alert. In Grapes of Wrath Rosasharn breastfeeds a stranger, a grown man nonetheless so he doesn’t starve. Do these things bother you as much as the sex in Like Water for Chocolate? Because if your child actually can read, and chooses to do so for classes, chances are he or she will read at least one of these at some point in his or her high school career. All of them are fantastic pieces of literature and are recommended by many but would these minor facts really dissuade you from having your child reading such classic pieces?

    I implore you to think about your hasty decisions, dear Fifteen. You are taking a classic piece of literature and ripping it apart using “moral standards” as reasoning; I find it offensive that you believe anyone who has read this book, or as shown, other books that are so often read in high school, does not have moral standards. I read every single book assigned in my Nampa High School classes, including all those I’ve listed. I’d read Esquivel’s artistic interpretation again any day over Twilight. I’m a 4.0 college student devoted to my studies; I plan to open a not-for-profit business after I graduate; a drop of alcohol never passed my lips before I was 21 and I’ve never been drunk; I’ve also never done drugs or had sex for that matter. So for you to insinuate that I don’t have morals because I read books like these and enjoy them is completely out of line. Please, step off your high morals horse and see that you are taking away a pertinent part of your child’s education—artistic, not “pornographic,” exposure to practices of everyday life and different cultures.

    To those of you who do support reading of classic literature such as Like Water for Chocolate, please, e-mail the Nampa School District Board and tell them so. Negative Nancy’s are controlling your child’s education right now, shouldn’t you have a say too?

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