California School District May Ban the Dictionary

| by Reason Foundation

By Radley Balko

Given the headline, you'd be forgiven for thinking the offending entries were an affront to political correctness. Nope. Just good old-fashioned prudery.

After a parent complained about an elementary school student stumbling across "oral sex" in a classroom dictionary, Menifee Union School District officials decided to pull Merriam Webster's 10th edition from all school shelves earlier this week.

School officials will review the dictionary to decide if it should be permanently banned because of the "sexually graphic" entry, said district spokeswoman Betti Cadmus. The dictionaries were initially purchased a few years ago for fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms districtwide, according to a memo to the superintendent.

"It's just not age appropriate," said Cadmus, adding that this is the first time a book has been removed from classrooms throughout the district.

"It's hard to sit and read the dictionary, but we'll be looking to find other things of a graphic nature," Cadmus said.

Better that kids learn these things on the playground, I guess.