Posted on

Ban of ‘Twisted’ parts from status quo

Kids today often grow up too fast and are exposed to things their young minds can’t handle. It’s for these very reasons classic novels like ‘Of Mice and Men’ or ‘The Outsiders’ typically aren’t given to students to read until they reach an appropriate age.
Statistics show that by the time students reach the ninth grade, they’ve been exposed to many things parents have already warned them about, from foul language to drugs to alcohol and, unfortunately, sexual situations.
It’s a regrettable fact, but one that certainly cannot be blamed solely on the books we adults read when we were in high school.
An effort is underway to have Laurie Halse Anderson’s book, ‘Twisted,’ banned at South Central Junior-Senior High School. A parent believes some of the language and situations in the book ‘ written from the point-of-view of a high-schooler ‘ aren’t appropriate for students.
The parent, Kim Mathis, makes a valid point in that students who are to view an R-rated movie in school must turn in a completed permission slip, so the same standard should be held to books. While ‘Twisted’ is far from being a smut novel, there’s no doubt there could be some parents who would like to know exactly what their child is reading if there’s strong language in the text. Case in point: Mathis admitted that she had not fully read the book ‘ her son read ‘Twisted’ and failed to tell her because he believed she would object ‘ and that she had been directed to certain passages that another parent thought was inappropriate material.
Anderson counters with an equally strong point, noting that adults should prepare children for the world as it is, not as it should be. She also pointed out that one in five teenagers ‘ 20 percent ‘ think about killing themselves, just as the main character deals with those thoughts in ‘Twisted.’ If Anderson’s novel ‘ written in the language of the typical high school student ‘ opens the path of communication so that just one teen talks to their parents or counselor about their depression or thoughts of suicide, what’s the harm in that?
Mathis should be applauded for standing up for what she believes is right and parting with the status quo; however, it will take more than a book ban to make the world a better place for her children. Ironically, ‘Twisted’ may be a good start.