A high school teacher in the Bronx has been suspended after assigning his 11th grade class a short story about masturbation.
The story is “Guts” by “Fight Club” author Chuck Palahniuk. I’ve heard of “Fight Club” the movie – Brad Pitt, Edward Norton. I’ve never heard of “Guts” or that specific author.
Here are two different stories with information about what happened:
The first is from Gawker and has an actual quote from the book so you can judge whether the content was appropriate or not.
The second is from the Gothamist and focuses on the reaction to what happened.
You need to read the quote from the book on the Gawker site to be able to fully participate in the discussion. I’m pretty sure I would get into trouble if I posted the actual quote here.
If you’ve read the quote consider a couple of points:
First off, I’m confused. Does that act qualify as masturbation? To me that takes it to a different level than say in Judy Blume’s “Deenie,” where the character talks about rubbing herself in the bathtub.
Secondly, do you think the appropriateness of course work should be determined by geography? It was suggested several times on the Gothamist blog that it’s the Bronx not Kentucky – those kids should be able to handle it.
Is masturbation an appropriate topic in a high school literature class? Does it depend on where the students are physically located? Does it depend on how explicit the masturbation is described? Should this teacher have been suspended? Should he be fired? What would you do if this story was on your child’s curriculum?