As a former English teacher and a mother who has raised three successful members of society, I believe that parents need to be open to the readings assigned to their students.
Fear is what drives people to say no to literature—fear and the need for control.
Allowing your children exposure under the watchful eyes of teachers is the best way for them to develop their own opinions. And they will do so no matter what you do.
You must allow them to live in this culture and to draw their own opinions. Worried? Then read and discuss the books after dinner or on the weekends.
Converse, but allow ideas to flow, civil arguments to ensue. Ideas that might scare you are out there and your fears won’t prevent your children from exposure.
Thus, I will not vote for the triumvirate that is all about fear. Great literature always challenges, always unlocks a door that you might want to remain shut. Read. Don’t take someone else’s word. Then build your own arguments to discuss with your children.
Encourage your child to do the same. Great minds are formed through exposure to ideas that challenge.
Dinner table conversations help form good minds; your involvement reveals love, not fear.
And the greatest reward— when your child opens a door for you, changes you. That is true progress.
Elizabeth A. Havey