Opting out of reading

This post was written by Friday guest blogger Annie Reid.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden reports that Arizona Senate’s Committee on Higher Education has voted to let university and community-college students opt out of required reading assignments they consider personally offensive or pornographic.

The legislation stems from complaints by Christina Trefzger, who attended community colleges and Arizona State University. She said some required reading assigned by instructors is morally unacceptable to some.

“A lot of students are being forced to choose between their personal or religious beliefs and the demands of education,” she told members of the Senate Committee on Higher Education on Wednesday.

One specific complaint was aimed at “The Ice Storm,” a novel dealing with adults and children experimenting with sex, drugs and suicide.

As Nielsen Hayden points out, “the Arizona state government is giving this much power to Christina Trefzger on nothing more than her assertion that some people were upset by having to read a novel about wealthy, bored Connecticut WASPs experimenting with sex and drugs back in 1973. ”

For me personally, it was the movie – not the book – that caused me to just completely forget any sense of my own morality and throw a couple of key parties. Ang Lee, you’ve got a lot of personal accounting to do over in this neck of the woods.


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