A Philadelphia mother wants her ninth-grade son’s teacher fired for buying him a copy of the erotic romance novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
When Maya Ladson found a copy of the book in her 14-year-old son’s bedroom, she questioned him about where he got it. He said a teacher at his school, Eastern University Academy Charter School in East Falls, gave him the book for an independent reading period.
The boy’s teacher and advisor, Philip Aidoo, allegedly asked his students for a list of books they would be interested in reading during an independent reading period. Ladson’s son requested “Fifty Shade of Grey,” and Aidoo ordered it online for him.
The school’s chief operating officer Yvonne Turner said the teacher had no idea he was getting the boy a racy book.
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“Unfortunately, Mr. Aidoo did not have an awareness of this popular book and ordered it with his own money,” Turner said. She noted that all of the other books his classmates requested were G-rated.
Ladson acknowledges that her son asked for the book, but she feels Aidoo’s ignorance on the book’s material was negligent.
“It clearly states on the cover, that the book is for mature audiences and has high sexual content,” Ladson said. “This was a 100-percent act of negligence. There should never be pornographic material purchased and distributed to a student by a school teacher.”
School officials met with Ladson and Aidoo, and a recommendation of action against the teacher, which was not disclosed, was made.
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“I find it highly unlikely that a teacher who teaches reading and has a classroom for sustained silent reading period is unaware of contents of material that he’s giving to the students, let alone the material being pornographic material,” she told NBC10.com.
Ladson was not satisfied with the action the school took and filed a grievance with its board of trustees. After hearing her case Wednesday, Aidoo was suspended for one week without pay. Ladson said even that is not enough and wants the teacher fired from the school.
Turner says the school held a meeting with the parents of other students, after they learned of the incident from Ladson. She said there was nothing but support for Aidoo, who teaches math and advises students.
“We all agree that it was a very serious mistake; however, it does not warrant a termination,” Turner said.
The school is working to move Ladson’s son to another class and also put in place a new rule that any purchases intended for students be approved by the administration.
“We have to deal with these things in a fair and impartial way which the school has attempted to do,” Turner said.