Experts are sounding the alarm about the presence of pornographic materials that are included in the exemplars recommended by Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
In a hard-hitting article just published in Crisis Magazine, Mary Jo Anderson, author and member of the Women of Grace® Board of Directors, reports that parents and teachers across the nation are discovering sexually inappropriate materials being recommended by the CCSS.
For instance, New York State’s CCSS lists excerpts from the book, Black Swan Green, as required reading for ninth graders.
“Black Swan Green features a 13-year-old boy as the narrator who graphically describes his father’s genitals and a sex act,” Anderson reports. “It has been suggested that because all of the excerpts do not contain explicitly sexual material some students would read only the required portions of the book. Others scoff at the idea that once the books are in a student’s possession that the sexually graphic material would be skipped over.”
This isn’t the only troublesome book on the list. Jen Costabile, an English teacher in the Newburgh, New York school district told Anderson that “At least three of the books listed on the modules [curriculums] contain passages using inappropriate language and visual imagery that most people would consider pornographic.”
One of those books, The Bluest Eye, by Pulitzer Prize winning author Toni Morrison has now been banned in several school districts because it depicts rape, incest, sexual violence and pedophilia. The pedophile in the book claims God as his inspiration, saying “I work only through the Lord. He sometimes uses me to help people.”
“Worse, however, is that the novel is written with sympathy for the pedophile,” Anderson writes. “Morrison defends her character, and reportedly wrote the story so the reader becomes a ‘co-conspirator’ with the pedophile.”
New York isn’t the only place where CCSS is going off the rails. In Buena High School in Sierra Vista, Arizona, parents pressured the school into removing a sexually explicit novel entitled Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia because it contains teen sado-masochism.
Barbara Hansen, a former elementary school teacher, described the book as “child pornography” saying that “We’re bludgeoning their souls with this kind of material. It’s debauchery, and it’s just not worthy of our students.”
School Superintendent, Kriss Hagerl admitted that had the district known about the book’s offensive content they would have advised teachers to select an alternative. “We’ve learned a lesson in this, and we’ll make sure to put those steps in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Hagerl said, according to the Associated Press.
Catholic schools are experiencing the same problems. Two first-grade books about families that depicted same-sex couples and divorce in a positive light, had to be removed from the CCSS after parents complained.
The Family Book by Todd Parr suggests that “Some families include stepmoms, stepdads, stepsisters, or stepbrothers; some adopt children. Other families have two moms or two dads, while some children have only one parent.”
Who’s in a Family? by Robert Skutch and All Kinds of Families by Norma Simon were also struck from the recommended reading list for the same reason.
As Catholic Education Daily points out, none of these books reflect Catholic teaching about families as explained in the Catechism:
“A man and a woman united in marriage, together with their children, form a family. This institution is prior to any recognition by public authority, which has an obligation to recognize it. It should be considered the normal reference point by which the different forms of family relationship are to be evaluated” (No. 2202).
Anderson’s report alerts parents and educators to yet another problem in the highly controversial Common Core system.
“The deep flaws of the Common Core system of standards and accompanying ‘exemplars’ serves to remind citizens of the wisdom of the Tenth Amendment,” Anderson writes. “Education belongs to the States; to the local community where community standards are best decided by the people who know their fellow citizens.”
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