The Guardian is reporting that the 10th edition of The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary has been yanked from classrooms in the Menifee Union district of California after a parent complained about a “sexually graphic” definition for the term “oral sex.” The dictionaries were purchased four years ago for use in fourth and fifth grade classrooms; the offending entry was deemed not “age appropriate.”
While some parents have praised the move “ “[it’s] a prestigious dictionary that’s used in the Riverside County spelling bee, but I also imagine there are words in there of concern,” said Randy Freeman “ others have raised concerns. “It is not such a bad thing for a kid to have the wherewithal to go and look up a word he may have even heard on the playground,” father Jason Rogers told local press. “You have to draw the line somewhere. What are they going to do next, pull encyclopaedias because they list parts of the human anatomy like the penis and vagina?”
There is a panel in place to assess whether the ban will be made permanent, but in the meantime, district spokeswoman Betti Cadmus told the Menifee Press-Enterprise that she will remain vigilant:
“It’s hard to sit and read the dictionary, but we’ll be looking to find other things of a graphic nature,” Cadmus said.