As you’ve probably heard, our nation’s school are in peril. Because of the chronically underpaid staff? The confusing COVID-19 guidelines? An antiquated testing system that prioritizes getting an A over critical thinking skills? The crackdown on honest assessments of America’s history of racism under the guise of combatting “Critical Race Theory?” The global pandemic disrupting life a little more every day? No. Our nation’s school are in peril because of Maus. Art Spiegelman’s autobiographical graphic novel about his father’s experience as a Jew in Germany during World War II was banned from school curriculum in one Tennessee county because of harrowing depictions of violence and some choice language. No child should be made to feel uncomfortable while learning uncomfortable truths about history.
But Maus isn’t alone. There are other uncomfortable plots lurking in the school library that our precious children could pick up and read at any time. In order to be thorough in the quest to protect kids from anything that might upset the fragile theme park of their developing minds, here are other stories we should ban, just to be safe.
Lot Fleeing the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
This story is already dicey with the divine destruction of an entire city, but the aftermath with Lot and his two daughters in the desert, getting up to unspeakable and incestual hijinks? Not in our schools.
Source: Genesis 19: 30 – 38
Jael Murdering Sisera
This story starts off with Deborah the prophetess leading Israel’s armies against the Canaanites, which might inspire some younger readers to think God might call women to lead. Bad turns to worse when the Israelite army routes the Canaanites and their general Sisera takes refuge in the tent of a woman named Jael, who pounds a tent peg through his skull. The idea of a young mind internalizing such woman-on-male violence is almost too horrifying to be considered.
Source: 2 Samuel 18: 6-33
The Song of Solomon
This one is just …well, look. We can’t have kids reading it, OK?
Source: The Song of Solomon
David Wins Michal’s Hand in Marriage
Everyone loves the story of David and Goliath, but we should really stop teaching it to kids, since David’s life is full of lessons no child should be reading. As just one example, his father-in-law to-be King Saul requires David win his daughter’s hand in marriage by bringing him 100 Philistine foreskins. That would be a dangerous enough way to teach kids about healthy dating, but David actually goes over the top and brings Saul 200 foreskins.
Source: 1 Samuel 18:25-27
Teenagers Mauled by Bears
On its surface, this is just a story about young people learning to respect their elders. Nothing wrong with that, you might be thinking. But you’d be wrong, because in this case, the prophet Elisha sicks two bears on a group of teenagers mocking him for his baldness. A terrifying story at any age. Surely we can teach children the importance of respecting bald people without threatening them with being eaten by bears.
Source: 2 Kings 2: 23-25
A Fish Pays Peter’s Taxes
When Jesus and the disciples are asked to pay taxes, Jesus says it’s the right thing to do so that they don’t offend anyone, and tells Peter to go catch a fish that will miraculously have enough money stuck in its mouth to pay what they owe. Neat trick on Jesus’ part, but giving Peter a handout robbed him of learning a valuable lesson about good, hard work. Definitely not something to pass along to children.
Source: Matthew 17:24-26.