Monday, July 9, 2012

Atticus Finch and High School Reading.

This summer, we are reading "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. The kids moaned and groaned because it was not their idea and they both have summer reading for school. Tonight, we watched the movie  to help jumpstart the reading (I know this is reverse...generally it is read the book then watch the movie)
Every time I see this movie, I am reminded of how much I love it. My favorite character is Atticus Finch. He is a class act all the way.  I hope no one tries to re-make this black and white version from 1962. It is classic in every way.
Speaking of summer reading, Katherine was assigned a book to read for the summer that is entirely inappropriate for a High School audience. I explained to the school that she would need an alternate assignment but met with great resistance, even after I expressed this was for moral, ethical and religious reasons. I explained that we are very selective about the media we expose ourselves to as a family and individuals, that we don't see movies with an R rating and rarely see PG-!3 rated movies and that we don't watch a lot of network or cable TV, especially sit-coms and dramas. 
I was told to that the compromise would be for me to read the book and sensor the objectionable sections. Well...that would be the entire book. Even the Sparks Notes were not acceptable reading. Hello...if you have to use the words compromise and sensor, there is a red-flag.
There are a lot of changes in administration and staff at Katherine's school, every day, there is another teacher or administrator who is no longer at the school. I decided to not wage the book battle again until thinks shake out and settle at the school. The very person who is giving me so much resistance could easily be "no longer at the school" along with all the others.
I am purposely not listing the book at this point. Once we have resolution, I will discuss details.
There are very few great books in recent years. I wish teachers would rely on the classic classics. To many of them are bored with classics because they have taught them for many years and forget that the students have still not read them. This is one of the reasons we are reading "To Kill A Mockingbird" this summer. I want my children to read great classic literature and too many teachers are not assigning great classic literature.
I want my children to have more literary heros like Atticus Finch.

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