Massachusetts parent Rick Plouffe is asking his local high school to remove a profanity-filled book from his daughter's required summer reading assignment. In an effort to enlighten students about the topic of autism, Wellesley High School is having students read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a novel by Mark Haddon. But after reviewing the book, the Wellesley dad says he was shocked by its obscene content.
Plouffe, whose daughter will be a sophomore at the school this fall, says he got four pages into the novel and the “f-word” started popping up. And as he proceeded to finish the book, he says he encountered “just about every swear you can think of, including the 'c-word'.”
Wellesley High School Principal Rena Mirkin has responded to Plouffe's concerns about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by saying the merit of the book outweighs its profane content. But Plouffe says he was troubled “that high school students from maybe 13 years and older were being exposed to this by a school administration that has a stated policy against profanity in the school.”
The Massachusetts father says he is just one of several concerned Wellesley parents who want the obscene novel dumped from their children's reading list, and he believes many other residents support the move. “I have not heard from anybody in my neighborhood or in the community who has told me that I'm barking up the wrong tree,” he points out.
But unfortunately, even though lots of other parents may agree with him that the reading material in question is unfit for the high school's required summer reading list, Plouffe says not all moms and dads are willing to speak out. Many “are concerned that if they voice their opinion there might be some negative ramifications as to their particular child,” he contends, “and so they've told me, 'Rick, we're behind you but don't use our name.'”
According to a Wellesley Townsman news report, Plouffe doubts whether most parents have read the book; but he is convinced that, upon reading it, most would agree that its content is inappropriate for 13- to 15-year-olds. He says while he is allowing his daughter to read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, he is doing so with serious reservations.