Today brought two inexcusable examples of ways that our country's elementary schools are censoring important information from kids. The first concerns young Erich Henze, a first-grader at a Michigan elementary school. Erich just wanted to compete in his school's talent show. His talent? A truly masterful arm and leg fart performance. His crime? Administrators deemed it too inappropriate for the 1st through 5th graders, and he was banned from the competing. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE. These kids know farts. If a kid can accurately portray farts, what makes him any different from a sculptor who accurately portrays human movement? This kid is a modern day Michelangelo.
The second example of censorship: Captain Underpants, a book series that was more or less the only book my friends and I read in second grade, which explains a lot, is being pulled from school libraries across the country. It, along with—no joke, To Kill a Mockingbird and Beloved—is said to contain inappropriate content for children. That inappropriate content is a superhero who flies around in his tighty-whiteys. From the Seattle Times:
No. 1 was a not a story of the bedroom, but the bathroom, Dav Pilkey's "Captain Underpants" books (Offensive language, unsuited for age group), followed by Sherman Alexie's prize-winning "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" (Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit), and Jay Asher's "Thirteen Reasons Why"(Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide). Also on the list, at No. 10, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison's "Beloved" (Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence).
"It's pretty exciting to be on a list that frequently features Mark Twain, Harper Lee, and Maya Angelou," Pilkey said in a statement. "But I worry that some parents might see this list and discourage their kids from reading `Captain Underpants,' even though they have not had a chance to read the books themselves."
Damnit, America, wake up. We can't stand for this. Farts and underwear are a part of life. Stop hiding them from our children!