Sunday, April 22, 2012

No Naked Bodies in PA

A friend sent me a link to a blog post by the Rogue Librarian, WTF is Wrong with these People? The post chronicles and responds to an 8-0 decision by the Annville-Cleona School Board in PA to ban the picture book, The Dirty Cowboy. The book is a humorous story about a very dirty cowboy who takes his yearly bath, his faithful dog who guards his clothes, and the funny mishaps that happen when the cowboy emerges from his bath.

A parent asked for the book to be removed from the school library. A committee was convened to review the matter and then the school board voted 8-0 to silence everyone's right to read this book at the two elementary schools. 

Not all agreed however. The school's librarian objected. A math teacher from Annville-Cleona High School read the book aloud at a day of reading celebration.

So why, you might ask, would a school system condone the banning of a picture book about a cowboy who takes a bath after a year?  The Rogue Librarian quoting the local paper explains:
According to Annville-Cleona Schools Superintendent Steven Houser, as reported in the Lebanon Daily News: “They [the parents] were asked what do you feel might be the result of viewing or reading this material, and their answer was, ‘Children may come to the conclusion that looking at nudity is OK, and therefore pornography is OK."
Say what?

Do the parents from Annville-Cleona make their children take baths with their clothes on? Do they shield their eyes when walking through museums? Are there no studies of antiquities for these young ones? Are there no bath time books for the children?
  1. There is something unseemly with adults who equate the human body with pornography and then transfer that belief to children. 
  2. There's always a problem when a few with power decide to limit the free expression of everyone else.

I hope the parents and community in Annville-Cleona stand up to this and demand that the book be returned and that the right to read a bath time story not be removed from their hands.


  1. No joke. And it was ONE parent that blew a gasket. The rest of us are furious. Stay tuned.

  2. Better make sure nobody reads a Bible.....since Adam and Eve were naked.

    1. Perhaps there is a version where they wear clothes?

  3. Boo. I'm going to go buy this for my library right now.