Friday, May 19, 2006

And Now for Something Completely Different

An attempted ban and/or attempt to edit "Kaffir Boy has been averted in a Manteca, California high school. The committee comprising 13 parents, administrators and teachers agreed that "Kaffir Boy" is a relevant, authoritative book that promotes the educational goals of the school district. The book which had been used by a senior English class was under review due to its use of the words "penis" and "anus" to describe a scene in which a group of young boys are about to prostitute themselves to a group of men for food. The edited version removed two paragraphs from this scene.

"Kaffir Boy" is an autobiographical coming-of-age account by Mark Mathabane, which describes how he grew up in one of South Africa's toughest ghettoes.

Three years ago, the school board and district administration took steps to remove the book from Manteca Unified schools. There had been some confusion about whether or not the book had been banned at that point and three concerned parents raised the issue once again.

Should a book be removed because of the inclusion of language some students and/or parents might offensive? How do you feel about the use of the edited version being used as a substitute for the author's original work?

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