• The Falconer

Censoring the Youth

By: Casey McCarthy

PTS Falconer Staff

March 12, 2019

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like it when anyone tells me what I can or cannot say, what I can or cannot do. I never have. When I was in preschool my father once tried to pick out an outfit for me in a hurry as we were running late for school and work. Little did he know that I had absolutely no intention of putting on an outfit that did not match. Ask my lacrosse teammates, they’ll tell you how detail oriented I am with coordinating my outfits. When there was an epidemic of white low-rise converse at Palmer, who was wearing high-rise mint ones? Me of course. Conformity has never been my strong suit, and I’ve always been kind of proud of that. I believe everyone should be their own person, and stand up for what they want and believe in.

On the other hand, however, if there is a valid, logical, and fair reason as to why certain rules and regulations are set, then it may be better to be a follower in that case. There is always a time for leading, and always a time for following.

My concern is where the balance is. Especially in the sphere of education because teachers need to be able to have frank conversations with their students on serious matters, but at the same time this vital information should be provided in a timely, serious and honest manner. For instance, if there is an N word in a literary work, there should be a discussion of history that explains how the word was used in context and why it is now an unacceptable offense to throw around. Otherwise, if these books are banned, or the words are glossed over then the students would never learn the true importance of it’s impact. It’s a fine line, and therefore difficult to maneuver, but that doesn’t mean that we should concede and take the easy way out. There has to be some established genuity between students and teachers, where they can speak openly, be respected, and have frank conversations in order to blossom. Otherwise we’ll be snoring in convos with ostentatious speakers who fail to capture our attention.

This issue has been brought to my attention in light of Ms. Massa’s F Period Women’s Studies class as we prepare our upcoming convocation on gender roles, language/slang, the culture of silence, and feminism. We are restricted from uttering the words, “sexual assault/abuse,” and “rape” in front of the middle schoolers. As if middle schoolers haven’t heard these rules before, as if they don’t already have some preconceived notion of what these words mean. Sure, they’re still young, but they sure as hell know a lot more than we give them credit for. We can’t censor the youth. As we attempt to teach the middle schoolers, we actually coddle them into immaturity.

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