Friday, 25 September 2009

Just feeling so betrayed

I'm passionate about my children being safe and happy.
We've come too close in the past to stop fighting for our children now and this latest event has really blown my sense of humour away.
I read my daughter's books, we both love reading.
I rummaged in her room for the latest book and started reading it.
Yep I was horrified, devastated and felt sick.
This is a book sent home from school by the Librarian, she wanted my daughter's opinion of the book and maybe they'll get the author in to talk to the students.
She wasn't going to be in trouble because she'd been asked to read it, why would she have any hesitation whatsoever?
Why would a parent have any hesitation if the school sent a book home, you wouldn't!
I feel my trust has been betrayed, but am so thankful my daughter hadn't read much at all, so didn't read what I did.
What was in it?
Well it was not particularly well written, but I pressed on, wanting to know what she was going to read, always good to know what a teenager reads, I think.
There was a description in there of sexual abuse, detailed, of a 14 year old boy by his carer.
It details non-consensual homosexual activity with a minor.
Is it me or it it wrong?

This book should not be in a school Libary.
Our children don't need to read this.
Needless to say I have spoken to school.
Tell me, would you be happy for your teenager to read one of these books?


MBNAD woman said...

I've just found your blog so haven't read all the "back story". I can understand why you are angry and feel that your trust has been abused by the school. I followed your link and have to confess that there was nothing about the books that drew me to them.

What was their defence?

Grit said...

i think what is wrong is feeling a loss of connection with an offspring about their lives.

but you have a strong connection, yes? so there'll be a way of talking about how there are some subjects that you don't feel comfortable having wrestled off you by the school, and the emotional consequences when one family member feels family boundaries are being crossed.

it will give rise to positive discussions, i'm sure.

Expat mum said...

My sister works with abused teenagers and some of the histories are truly shocking, even for adults to hear. Such a book shouldn't be read by young people without support and guidance. The "details" probably don't need to be in there either.

Frog in the Field said...

defense was it's a modern day parallel with Oliver Twist.

Hi Grit,
Daughter was fine when we explained why we weren't happy with her reading it, she wasn't keen on reading it either once we explained.

Expat Mum you are absolutley right, Thank you.

Lindsay said...

How ghastly.

Nicola said...

I'm not sure how old your daughter is...young teens or 16? Anyway, I have a slightly different view I guess (although saying this, i haven't read the book so my comment may change once seeing the text).

When I was a teenager I was exposed to physical and sexual violence at home. For years. It was terrifying and almost surreal. I hope my boys never experience anything even verging on something similar in their own lives. However, I do want them to be exposed to the realities of life in one way and wouldn't want to shy away from this important subject matter. I am sure they would get more from a book written specifically for teens, especially if it is written in a realistic way, than from me trying to one day have a conversation about it.

I want to physically protect them with every ounce of my being of ever being exposed to anything similar. But at the same time, I want them to understand, feel empathy and grow into men who never, ever perpetuate any type of abuse - be it mental, emotional, sexual, physical or otherwise because they understand that the effects are far reaching and never, ever leave you.

I wish I had been able to read a novel on the subject when I was going through this situation. I am sure it would have made me feel less isolated. I simply believed that I was the only one that this was happening too and didn't dare speak of it to anyone.

Apologies if anyone find this comment offensive. It's just my view, which I guess is slightly biased.

Frog in the Field said...

Thank you for your comment Lindsay.

Dear Nicola,
I am at a loss of what to say to you. Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment.
My daughter is 14.
The story sadly ends with murder.

Nicola said...

Thanks for your understanding. And yes, I think 14 is too young to be exposed to this. I really think I need to read the book.

And thank you so much for becoming a follower. I really appreciate it. Thank you.

Millennium Housewife said...

Hi Frog, I'm not at the teenager stage yet, and maybe I'll feel differently when I am, but I think these things need to be talked about. There is a case for your daughter being offered support while reading it, but sexual abuse is a very real and present thing. It's horrible to think of and accept but the more open we can be about it the less young people will be forced to suffer in silence.

You never know where your daughter might go after reading this. Her awareness of the subject might mean she is able to help someone else, she may begin to volunteer to help children in less fortunate positions, she may become a sounding board or a voice in the silence.
It's an awful, terrible thing to be aware of, but ignorance leads to more suffering.
Thanks so much for writing this post, whatever our views it needs to be talked about.
Much love to you!
ps are you going to PRG on the 6th?

Iota said...

I'm just thinking "Good for you, for being so involved in what your daughter is reading". I start out with those intentions, but rarely follow through.

Tattie Weasle said...

I think you are right to be concerned, too many parents are not and I think 14 is still very young.


Hi Frog - well, I'm not quite there yet with the teenage reading, but I have been very unhappy about a couple of books that my daughters brought home from school. One was about bullying - very relevant I know - but it was just the way the story was written was very unpleasant involving quite a lot of complex social issues and seemed highly inappropriate for a six year old. She certainly got very little out of the book. The other was a book another daughter brought home in year 3. It seemed to be advocating the joys of eating junk food over quality food - a story about children wanting to eat popcorn, fast food and sweets over well-cooked and prepared food - with the children winning out. Mad. Bizarre. Poorly written (meant to be funny but wasn't) and darn right irresponsible in my view.

Frog in the Field said...

Thank you for your well thought comments.
The Head has read the book, spoken to Heads of Department and made the decision it's not a suitable book. I'm impressed how the matter has been looked into. My complaint wasn't taken lightly and I'm very grateful for having such an approachable school.
I don't think I'll be getting a Christmas card from the Librarian though.

Tattie Weasle said...

I am so pleased they listened to you. I find these days that many schools are not keen to have parental input. Well done.

Anonymous said...

I do think there is a place for books like this, but of it was my daughter then I would want to be the one who educates her in this area. I would not want her school exposing her to stories like this. I would feel betrayed too.

I think Nicola makes some excellent points and she has recently posted about it on her own blog. In some way or other children and teenagers need to be aware of the dangers that exist out there. But it should be parents that do that, not the school.

dulwichmum said...

The thing that always troubles me about books exposing this type of abuse, is how detailed they are. How can we be sure that some potential abuser is not enjoying the virtually pornographic accounts that they are reading? These things must be discussed and explained, but with guidance and the involvement of parents. Well done Caroline, it takes a parent like you, with a super close relationship with their child, to discover this. I am glad they listened, and so they should. No-one has more of an interest in the welfare of your child.