The book that won the Newbery Medal for children's literature, "The Higher Power of Lucky", has the word scrotum in the first few pages. It talks about a dog being bitten on the scrotum by a rattlesnake. There's a big thing about whether or not libraries and bookstores are going to carry it. I'm so not for censorship, but I'm riding on the line of whether or not it's "appropriate" (I hate that word) for the audience it was intended for. I'm teaching sixth grade for the next seven weeks and something happened that really solidified my view...

The bell had yet to ring and there were some students in my class. A few were going back and forth saying, "You ask her."

"No, you ask." It went on for a few minutes and being that this was the first time I'd had the class I thought it might be something like, "Who are you?" I said, "Ask me what?"

"He wants to know what a douche bag is."

So I wasn't exactly expecting that. I had a quick answer of "You probably don't really want to know yet." I felt pretty guilty for that answer because I would have hated getting it, but the group seemed all right. All I could think about was the word scrotum and all this controversy about it. That book is right in there with the age group my students are, and I would not want to have to explain what a scrotum is. Even if I answered it indirectly, in a truthful kind of way, like, "It's part of the body." "It's part of the male anatomy." That doesn't answer everything. They would dig until they got it; it's their job to.


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