Those who have arrived here from Twitter have no doubt seen the flood of responses at Meghan Cox Gordon’s controversial editorial rant in the Wall Street Journal. If you have not read it for yourself, please do so here before proceeding.
All done? Thoughts? Opinions? There’s a lot of them floating around
Ms. Gordon’s multipronged attack is enough to send any reader’s head spinning. Censorship. Freedom. Social issues.
My thought as a teacher, writer, and parent is that this is an indictment against bad – or lacking – parenting skills. I have seen over and over again that my students who read are my best ones. I do the entrance testing for my school and EVERY time a student has brought a book to the test, that student does well.
The question stands, what should students read? My answer is anything a parent reads. There’s a balance that needs to take place – certainly children do not need to see violence and horror glorified, but neither do they need to think that the world is rainbows and butterflies. The root of the problems address in Ms. Gordon’s article is that we have set up a youth subculture that is totally removed from any guiding principles. There are those who attempt to guide – school boards, librarians, and book sellers (by the way, capitalism is still alive and well – if people quit purchasing objectionable literature, then authors will quit making it)
So do parents need to read everything a teenager does? That’s up to the parents. If they trust in their own skills and can keep open dialogue, teens can be trusted to make good decisions. When a parent needs helps, I highly recommend some of the following resources:
Don’t forget to find writers that you can trust to agree with your beliefs as well. On my spirituality page, I share some of my worldview so that my readers know what to expect.
And … if you want a book that shows some of the dark side of humanity in conjunction with the brightness of love and sacrifice, then may I suggesting taking a trip through my novel, ShadowLight.