Apex, NC — NSFW (Not Safe For Work) but Safe for High Schools?

UPDATE: The principal at this school issued the following email to the parent in question:

Apex Friendship High School English Dept. assigned the graphic novel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. This “very graphic novel” depicts sexual acts and nudity in realistic illustration form. This book was on a list from which the students could choose one for their Banned Book Project.

Now, I’m all for the Banned Book Project. It’s a great way to expose students to various ideas and themes that push boundaries. Reading and discussing these books can help students work out the complexities of controversial ideas in a safe and studious environment.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite banned books:

  • The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger.
  • The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.
  • The Color Purple, by Alice Walker.
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain.
  • The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding.

HOWEVER, when we move from pushing boundaries to outright pornography, I must protest!

The students in any Junior English class are mostly minors. Yes, over-sexualization is “our culture,” but it’s still illegal to show pornography and R-rated movies to 16 year olds without parents’ or guardians’ consent.

R-rated movies, you ask? Yes!

Into the Wild, an R-rated movie, was shown at my kids’ school. It has nudity. In fairness, it was shown in my friend’s daughter’s class and the teacher raced to the front to stop it, and then apologized. BUT, continued showing the movie the following day, which included more nude scenes. (Head scratcher there. Is it okay, or isn’t it?)

Back to the very graphic novel. I’ve posted a link (see below) to a site where you can view the pictures in this book because I won’t post them here. I don’t want my blog to be known as a porn site.

The homosexual themes of Fun Home don’t bother me, but they SHOULD bother the LGBTQIA+ community!

First of all, the dad is gay, but he’s gay because he was molested as a kid. Oops, that’s not the narrative of biological homosexuality. (I have lots of gay friends, and I think they’re mostly all born that way, btw.) Also, the dad preys on young male students. Not so good.

Secondly, the author herself is gay, because it seems like “the safest route.” Again, not really a pro gay stance. She’s a lesbian because she’s fearful? Hmm.

Anyway, I don’t have a problem with any of that. What I have a problem with are the realistic drawings of sex acts (oral sex, intercourse, masturbation, etc.), nudity, and nude autopsies (yes, autopsies!) being shown to high school students in a Junior English class.

Make your own judgment. Here’s the link to the most disturbing pictures. These are GRAPHIC IMAGES, so tread carefully. You have been warned.

Link to Every Graphic Depiction

SIDE NOTE: College students at Duke University in Durham, NC protested reading this book. Link to Duke Story.

It’s sad that we live in a time where we parents must fight for decency in public schools. In 492 days, I will no longer have a child in K-12 public schools, and that final day can’t come fast enough!