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"Child Abuse" in America

By Jess D'Amico in News on Mar 7, 2008 6:35PM


We’re usually level-headed about other people’s opinions even if they don’t correlate with ours, and normally hold a live and let live attitude. But then something like this comes along so foam-at-the-mouth-inducing that our fingers tremble with all the rage we must type out.

Deerfield high school will continue to offer Angels in America, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, as an “opt-in” book for their Advanced Placement course for graduating seniors.

The piece, performed on stage and adapted into an HBO miniseries, focuses on the lives of two couples in the 1980s dealing with the emergence of AIDS, sexual and ethnic identity, and corporate greed. It is a beautiful, if strange, work that is, in our opinion, a cornerstone in the canon of modern literature.

Unfortunately for us, not everyone feel the same way. There are a couple groups trying to stop high schools from offering the book. One is Matt Barber, policy director for Concerned Women of America. This is what he said in the CBS2Chicago piece after he read the book:

"This isn't a First Amendment issue. This is about school officials betraying the community trust. Heads need to roll here. Assigning this racist, pornographic smut to high school kids is nothing short of child abuse.”

Our blood started to boil right here. First off, any student with HBO or a netflix account could easily watch the miniseries. Second, it's an opt-in book for an AP class. Most, if not all, of the students will be 18 by April (when the book is scheduled to be read). They graduate one month later, and if these now adults can't handle reading the material, they are more than free to choose the other book. To sum up, this is a class being taken by advanced, mostly adult, students who don't want to read those other highly racist or sexist books, of which you can take you pick of many major pieces of literature you read in high school.

Image of some fallen angels via Kozumel