Aiken district responds to allegations that 'pornographic' material was read to pupils

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 7:56 PM
Last updated 8:01 PM
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The Aiken County school district released a statement Wednesday responding to allegations that a Schofield Middle School teacher recently read “pornographic” material to pupils.

“At least one” employee is on administrative leave while the district investigates the incident, the statement says.

A pupil and his parent complained Friday that a teacher used books in class that had “curse words and terms that might not be age appropriate,” the district said. The district began the investigation, the statement says, and continued it Monday. During its review, the district was contacted by law enforcement, who said a parent had filed a complaint with police.

“Two of three books that had been selected and utilized by the teacher were determined to have materials (primarily swear words) and, in some instances, subject matter terminology that the school administration considers inappropriate for the middle school age,” the district’s statement says. “The District and law enforcement work on a cooperative basis, and Aiken Public Safety will determine if any of the events in question violate the law.”

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Newsflash
1881
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Newsflash 03/14/12 - 09:15 pm
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The Aiken County school

The Aiken County school district seems to have a problem contacting law enforcement until parents force them to.I hope that this is not going to be an ongoing concern.The school district has some fine educated folks .....I think they should look up the words proactive and reactive and note the difference.

sarmain
0
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sarmain 03/14/12 - 09:40 pm
2
1
Book names???

Book names???

avidreader
3104
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avidreader 03/15/12 - 06:08 am
10
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"Swear words" and "subject

"Swear words" and "subject matter terminology" constitute PORN? Give me a break. What the teacher did may have been outside the bounds of appropriate, but PORN? Give me a break. I'm betting that the material does not even compare with mythology studies -- Old Zeus is quite the cad. It wasn't many years ago when some parents were steamed about To Kill a Mockingbird -- rape, incest, the dehumanization of the Negro community in 1930's Alabama. And the "N" word. And I won't even venture into the responses teachers have dealt with concerning Huck Finn, Catcher in the Rye, and Like Water for Chocolate.

Let's not label this teacher a PORN freak until after all the smoke has cleared. It's an overwhelming tag for a person to deal with.

There was an incident once where I crushed my thumb while moving a book case, and the "F" word slipped out of my mouth. My students were quite amused, but I was truly worried about any repercussions. This may sound silly, but I have witnessed many teachers who were reprimanded for lesser evils. Many times, children go home and tell their parents inflated stories about the goings-on in classrooms. Many parents tend to explode and immediately start calling the BOE instead of simply speaking with the teacher. Once again, there actually may be a big problem with the teacher in question at Schofield, but let's not judge too quickly.

Dixieman
14412
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Dixieman 03/15/12 - 06:33 am
2
1
Um, AC, NAMES OF THE BOOKS??

Um, AC, NAMES OF THE BOOKS?? Story does not make much sense without them.

FormerAugustaResident
101
Points
FormerAugustaResident 03/15/12 - 08:00 am
3
0
Better yet....IF (and only

Better yet....IF (and only if)...the readings are deemed "appropriate", then quote a couple of the selected paragraphs. It certainly would be okay (with no AC censorship) to publish in a newspaper what is said in a school classroom.

bdouglas
4899
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bdouglas 03/15/12 - 08:08 am
1
3
So do you two griping about

So do you two griping about not knowing the book names want the AC to pull them out of their you-know-where or something? It's not mentioned anywhere in the news release, so how would you suppose they report them?

@Newsflash: The school never contacted law enforcement; the parent did. Do you propose they contact law enforcement at the first murmur that something that MIGHT be questionable MIGHT have occurred without first investigating themselves? It was reported Friday, investigated Friday and into Monday, when they were told by law enforcement that a report had been filed. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me so far...

If law enforcement was left up to the commenters here on the AC site, we'd probably still have public lynchings with how quickly many will jump to drastic conclusions.

Newsflash
1881
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Newsflash 03/15/12 - 08:33 am
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@bdouglas...It was reported

@bdouglas...It was reported Friday, investigated Friday and into Monday, when they were told by law enforcement that a report had been filed.Sounds perfectly reasonable to me so far...Yet no one had called the parent Friday ,Saturday,Sunday or Monday to notify them of an ongoing investigation. Quit trying to discredit every comment ! The fact that it sounds perfectly reasonable to you may be of little comfort to the parent or the child.Their is no such thing as getting into trouble by reporting to often .......just failing to report at all .

stephykins
39
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stephykins 03/15/12 - 09:57 am
0
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WRDW said the book had

WRDW said the book had something about ejaculation on someone's face...

bdouglas
4899
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bdouglas 03/15/12 - 10:41 am
1
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@Newsflash: The parents were

@Newsflash: The parents were told they would investigate on Friday when the parents reported it to the school. That sounds like notification of an investigation to me...?

The police report (and a good bit more info) is available at WRDW's website, and more info (book title) is available on the Aiken Standard's website.

Newsflash
1881
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Newsflash 03/15/12 - 10:51 am
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@bdouglas : Police only

@bdouglas : Police only learned of the incident after a parent came to them. The report shows the mother first went to the school principal but was told by her, "they would handle it in-house." South Carolina law requires school officials to go to law enforcement anytime there is a possibility of criminal activity. Public Safety officers say the school did not contact them about this case.This isn't the first time Aiken County Public Schools have violated South Carolina law by failing to report possible crimes to law enforcement.Read the entire report........not just the parts that appeal to you ! I too can read : )

bdouglas
4899
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bdouglas 03/15/12 - 12:04 pm
2
1
@Newsflash Yes, and once they

@Newsflash Yes, and once they figured out if a crime possibly happened or not, they can report it. They were doing due diligence before reporting it. Just sounds like standard operating procedure to me. Don't know why you're so worked up. As for being able to read, I can also read that this happened on a Monday and the parent didn't bother to report it til Friday. If it were such a distressful situation one would reasonably believe it would've been reported without waiting 4 more days and that more than one student would have raised issue. Suspicious to me.

ForeverFrog
1
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ForeverFrog 03/15/12 - 12:17 pm
3
1
The book in question is

The book in question is allegedly Ender's Game. It has become suggested reading for many military organizations, including the United States Marine Corps. Ender's Game won the 1985 Nebula Award for best novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for best novel. Allegedly it is a fourteen year old kid's parent that complained. Can’t imagine there are many fourteen year olds that haven’t seen worse than what’s in the book that they haven’t already seen on TV. What these poor teachers are subjected to for so little pay!

Little Lamb
45313
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Little Lamb 03/15/12 - 12:37 pm
2
1
I, personally, avoid the use

I, personally, avoid the use of swear words. But this is America where we still have freedom of speech. What was said might very well have been inappropriate in a classroom, but surely there is no law against reading to children.

deadline
0
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deadline 03/15/12 - 02:22 pm
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Anyone remember that famous

Anyone remember that famous guy from England named Shakespeare? Romeo and Juliet? Othello? Lets ban this too! Burn books!

deadline
0
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deadline 03/15/12 - 02:19 pm
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Here is the top review from

Here is the top review from Amazon:

"Whenever I talk about this book, it's hard not to make it sound like I am a science fiction junkie. I love and defend sci-fi, but I am not limited to the genre. Neither, I think, is this magnificent book. To label it simply a sci-fi classic would be like labeling "Moby Dick" a great book about boats. All great books, regardless of the genre, say something truly profound about the human condition.
"Ender's Game" not only manages to have a strong message, but it is also a joy to read. The plot is enthralling, the characters are complex and realistic, and the descriptions of the battleroom fill your head with fantastic images that make you wish your school had been like this, without the burden of saving humanity. The subplot involving Valentine and Peter is superb and cannot fail to inflame every reader's megalomaniacal side. Though the book is about children, it never condescends and gives kids the credit for the intelligent creatures they are (a big plus for teenage readers). The characters are exceptionally bright, but they are still identified as five- to twelve-year olds, not as mini-adults. It's no wonder that so many gifted young readers have made the statement, "I am Ender." I hope "Ender's Game" is able to make the rare crossover from lowly sci-fi to recognized, so-called "legitimate" literature.

Not only will you not be able to put the book down, you won't be able to read this book just once. "

ForeverFrog
1
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ForeverFrog 03/15/12 - 03:12 pm
2
1
Maybe these parents need to

Maybe these parents need to home school or send the kid to an xian school. Most likely the kid thought it was a cool book but mommy thought otherwise.

http://www.aikenstandard.com/story/0315Followup-with-school--3862406

InChristLove
22468
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InChristLove 03/15/12 - 03:59 pm
1
1
As a parent, I understand

As a parent, I understand young pre-teen and teenagers will hear all kinds of inappropriate language in school and around their friends but I still would not approve of a teacher reading or allowing my child to read material that contains swear words or subject matters I feel is not suited to their age. I've not read the book so I can not judge whether it was appropriate or not but the swear words alone makes me question it. We complain so much about young kids becoming sexually active but then we see nothing wrong with throw details in their face and providing way too much information that is best left up to the parents to inform them.

InChristLove
22468
Points
InChristLove 03/15/12 - 04:04 pm
1
1
According to WRDW

According to WRDW report......"One of the stories was about prostitutes having their faces covered with ejaculation."

Those with young middle age school children, please tell me if you think this is appropriate to be reading to your child? Heck, I wouldn't want it read to high school students.

InChristLove
22468
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InChristLove 03/15/12 - 04:17 pm
2
0
"Sources said the teacher

"Sources said the teacher read from three books, among them"Ender's Game"

ForeverFrog....did you read the article in the link you posted. There were "3" books so it's possible that even though it may have only been foul language within "Ender's Game", the other two books evidently contained inappropriate sexual content.

You have a very good point there....maybe parents who place a high value of moral conduct and teaching their child respect and sexual purity should consider home schooling or Christian schools.

deadline
0
Points
deadline 03/15/12 - 04:34 pm
1
1
ICL: It doesn't matter if

ICL: It doesn't matter if you go to a Christian school, teenagers will be teenagers...If you have a teenager in one of those schools, ask them honestly what goes on after school, you won't like the answer if you think Christian schools are any diff. Its all relative. The Asian students are laughing all the way to Ivy Leagues while the rest of the students are more worried about who is dating who, who has the latest fashion trends...etc or in this case about some silly swear words and other language that was likely unintentional.

seenitB4
85643
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seenitB4 03/15/12 - 04:39 pm
1
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deadline I 100% agree with

deadline I 100% agree with this statement..

The Asian students are laughing all the way to Ivy Leagues while the rest of the students are more worried about who is dating who, who has the latest fashion trends

I notice that in this neighborhood...the Asians kids are smart.

InChristLove
22468
Points
InChristLove 03/15/12 - 05:12 pm
1
1
dealine, I notice you said

dealine, I notice you said ask what goes on after school. I'm not so much worried about what goes on "after" school as what goes on "during" school. The "after" can be monitored to some degree by a parent who provides transportation and is aware and involved with any after school activities. The "during" is what is critical and if you have teachers who follow the same moral value as you believe in, then most likely they will not be reading and thinking it is okay to expose their students to inappropriate language, swear words, or immoral conversations. I noticed you didn't say a word about home schooling.

writer
229
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writer 03/15/12 - 10:33 pm
0
0
The other two books were

The other two books were Agatha Christie's Curtain: Poirot's Last Case and The Devil's Paintbox by Victoria McKernan. Amazon reviews indicate that it is for older young adults with some language but a very rewarding read. Neither of these books remotely fit the "pornographic" label. There must be more to this story.

Widow Jones
0
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Widow Jones 03/16/12 - 03:16 am
1
0
I’ve just done a quick

I’ve just done a quick rundown of the books in question over in Aiken middle school, and once again the South shows its ignorance. The books are Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card; Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case, by Agatha Christie; and Devil’s Paintbox by Victoria McKeman. Run a book search and read the reviews -- all reputable books. In fact, one news report said that the students themselves chose Ender’s Game, a science fiction series by a highly respected author (check his awards). Can this book be worse than the vampire books and movies? Who wants to argue about Agatha Christie? I am not familiar with Victoria McKeman, but the reviews on her historical western novel are amazing. The book is about the survival of two orphans at a time when life in the western states was rough and survival doubtful. I ran a few searches for curse words and found none; but according to some TV reports it was graphic description that may have upset students, not the curse words which they have heard and repeated since pre-school days. By all means, home school your children if you want to protect them from life, but do not burn teachers at the stake for empty charges of porn when literature will always describe life as it is, and even as we wish it could be.......or, perhaps should be. Further, I challenge our “Christian” friends to clean up the porn in their Bibles, not to mention the contradictions and “falsehoods.” Start by cleaning up the names of who wrote what in the Bible -- the four Gospels were not written by Jesus’ disciples. In fact, the first was not written until some 40 years after the crucifixion by a person who did not know Jesus. Anyone read the research which questions the existence of King David? Some scholars believe he was more a fantastic mythological character woven into Jewish history (and new discoveries are starting to support this theory). Lets teach our children how to evaluate life with the brains God and genetics gave them. Allow them the freedom to explore the intricacies of life and give them the essential knowledge to make wise decisions as they travel their paths to fulfilling their utmost potential.

InChristLove
22468
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InChristLove 03/16/12 - 01:01 pm
0
0
Widow Jones, home schooling

Widow Jones, home schooling children is not about protecting them from life but preparing them for life. No one is burning teachers at the stake on empty charges of "porn". I believe the news reported that it was a graphic sexual description that upset this student and I don't know about your children but although I do not doubt my children heard plenty of profanity in school, it was not a custom in our household to repeat such language and definitely not since pre-school days.

As for contradictions in the Bible, I believe if you would do further study instead of doing a "quick rundown" you would discover several sights that give detail explanation on what some would call contradictions in the Bible....which are not contradictions at all. As for porn in the Bible, I guess opinions are based on where the mind is at, when viewing scripture concerning a deep abiding love between a husband and wife. If you stay in the gutter, I guess you would view it as porn. If your mind is on a higher authority, you would view it as a deeply devoted love letter.

As for the Gospels in the New Testament....if you open a Bible today, the books are titled "The Gospel according to...." Although you are correct that there is not absolute proof that Matthew, Mark, Luke or John actually wrote these gospels, there is external evidence by some ancient writings and testimony by Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria and Origen, by the caption "according to Mark". Although not absoulte proof, one can look at the internal evidence by writing styles as well as scripture where Peter and Mark travel together in Rome, the place where Clement of Alexandria and Irenaeus located writings of the gospel.

Now for King David, in 1993 an archaeologist unearthed a piece of stone with writing on it with the words "House of David". The fragment was found in Tel Dan which lies by the Jordan River. Of course there were nay-sayers and another scholar Andre' Lemaire wrote about an earlier find called the mesha Stela. Scholars have finally reached a consensus that David was real.

No one has denied that our children need to have essential knowledge to make wise decisions in life....we just disagree on the path they need to get that knowledge.

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