Sherlock Holmes: Parental Discretion Advised

A school in Jefferson’s home county in Virginia is removing a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle work from its sixth grade curriculum, citing the book’s religious intolerance as the motive:

The Victorian-era book, A Study In Scarlet, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was deemed inappropriate for the age group, but it will be available for older students.

The school board of Albermarle county, where Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello home is located, took the action in response to a challenge from the parent of a middle school student…

“This is our young students’ first inaccurate introduction to an American religion,” Stevenson told the board, according to the newspaper.

It is interesting what we have decided is inappropriate for children. A federal court recently ruled in favor of the First Amendment rights of teenage girls to upload sexual images of themselves with total impunity. So, while Sherlock Holmes is too intolerant for sixth graders, this is appropriate behavior for 10th graders:

Prior to the first sleepover, the girls bought phallic-shaped rainbow colored lollipops. During the first sleepover, the girls took a number of photographs of themselves sucking on the lollipops. In one, three girls are pictured and M.K. added the caption “Wanna suck on my c**k.” In another photograph, a fully-clothed M.K. is sucking on one lollipop while another lollipop is positioned between her legs and a fully-clothed T.V. is pretending to suck on it.

During another sleepover, T.V. took a picture of M.K. and another girl pretending to kiss each other. At a final slumber party, more pictures were taken with M.K. wearing lingerie and the other girls in pajamas. One of these pictures shows M.K. standing talking on the phone while another girl holds one of her legs up in the air, with T.V. holding a toy trident as if protruding from her crotch and pointing between M.K.’s legs. In another, T.V. is shown bent over with M.K. poking the trident between her buttocks. A third picture shows T.V. positioned behind another kneeling girl as if engaging in anal sex. In another picture, M.K. poses with money stuck into her lingerie — stripper-style.

The pendulum is now officially swinging the other direction. At one point censorship was being driven by too conservative, too Puritanical values. Sexuality, atheism, social dissonance, and the like were inappropriate for our children. Now, our censorship is beginning to be driven by progressive values. It is the absences of pluralism or the perception of intolerance that are the issue. Surely there are others who realize that this is just two sides of the same coin; two equal and opposite ideologies embracing censorship to promote healthy development of “right-minded” people. At some point, it seems, all ideological systems will attempt to perpetuate themselves through the controlled flow of information to children. That is fine, perhaps entirely natural, but I do not want to hear a single progressive getting on my case about the religious “indoctrination” of children through Sunday school.

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