Fat Steve's Blatherings

Friday, March 11, 2005

Inappropriate Language

From the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web Today:

Dispatch From the Porn Belt
On Wednesday we noted that schools in Montgomery County, Md. (Kerry by 33.2%), plan to introduce a new sex education curriculum that, among other things, instructs youngsters in how to put condoms on cucumbers. Blogger Trevor Bothwell e-mailed the county board of education to complain about the "use of taxpayer dollars to indoctrinate Maryland's public school students with the Left's visions of a hypersexualized society, including discussion of anal sex and the like."

But Bothwell's e-mail bounced. The automated reply he received said his message had "surpassed the threshold set in the Adult Content dictionary." He writes:

I'm struggling to pinpoint exactly which portion of my letter "surpassed the threshold set in the Adult Content dictionary," but my guess is that the words "anal sex" might have had something to do with it.

So, you got that? It's "inappropriate" for one adult to write to a group of adults expressing concern over topics addressed in a school district's curriculum (indeed, the board's own web server admits the terms "anal," "sex," "anal sex," "hypersexualized," or any combination thereof, violate standards of appropriate language laid out in the "Adult Content dictionary" and are thus filtered from receipt by the school board), but it's apparently fine and dandy to reference such terminology in schools filled with impressionable tenth-graders.

The school board really ought to consider relaxing the settings on its porn filter. After all, we wouldn't want the folks who run the schools to have to pick up this kind of stuff on the street.



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