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Author’s Middle School Visit Cancelled Over Strong Language

Cumberland Middle School has canceled an appearance by author Meg Medina at an anti-bullying event, arguing that “bullying prevention could be taught without using unacceptable language.” What do you think?

Medina wrote a young adult book called Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, and the book trailer (embedded above) contains more ugly words used by bullies. Follow this link to read a sample from the book. The author posted this response to the school district:

I make absolutely NO APOLOGIES for the title of my book. The title is bold and troubling, and it suggests exactly what’s inside. Besides, we can fret all we want about the word ass, but that word isn’t the real trouble, is it? What’s hurting our kids is the savagery on their phones, and Facebook pages and in their classrooms. That, and the reluctance of those around them to step up and do the tough work of pulling the issue out into the open and talking about what bullying really looks and sounds like and about its radioactive impact that lasts for years into the future.

Cumberland Schools Superintendent Amy Griffin gave this statement to WRIC:

Concerns were noted about the title of one of her books that she was going to use during the presentation. The school considered utilizing a student Opt-Out form for the program; however, after viewing the on-line trailer for the book, other inappropriate language was discovered. In reflection, it was decided bullying prevention could be taught without using unacceptable language.

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