Remove the Obscene, Reject the Extreme!

By Dr Becky Behrends on April 13, 2023

My name is Dr Becky Behrends.  I have here a bottle of Tylenol.  We all know that these bottles are not always easy to open.  They are made that way to protect children from access to them.  We don’t want them to harm their physical bodies.

I also have here a PDR- ie physicians desk reference.  I used this a lot in my practice of medicine.  It contains warnings about side effects and precise dosages so that physical harm is not created.  

So, what about the potential harm and side effects of material absorbed into the minds and emotions of children and youth?  What about the effects on them spiritually?

There are a number of books in our high school libraries that can have adverse effects on young people.

I believe we should protect our youth.  Remove the obscene.  Reject the extreme.

One of these books, which is present in two of our high schools in the Walled Lake School District is entitled “Push” written by Sapphire.  This book is about the life of a teenager is who heavily sexually abused whose life changes when a mentor teaches her to read.

This book has explicit sexual activities including incest, molestation, sexual nudity, excessive and frequent profanity, racially insensitive commentary, drug use and violence including self harm.

Now, I am not going to create a spectacle by reading excerpts from this book to you.  You know where I am going with this.  It would be considered in bad taste and inappropriate.  But, apparently not so for high school students.  So, I will submit to you the material that is obscene and inappropriate for you to review in private.

Now, there are people who consider themselves quite educated who will get all worked up screaming, “book banning- heaven forbid, we can’t have that”.  Or they will say, such a book is cutting edge, or has socially redeemable value or gives a needed dose of reality to teens so they can relate to those who have been abused.  

Really?  Can anyone here defend graphic sex acts and violence as “socially redeemable”?  There is a vast amount of research detailing the harm of exposing kids to sexual content. Yet we have media, corporations, school educators, medical societies- again, the so called educated, smart people in our society who think there is value in exposing kids to the “gritty and dirty part of life”.  Common sense should tell us otherwise.

50 years from now, people will say, “what were they thinking?”

To our educators, I say, remove the obscene, reject the extreme and protect the minds and hearts of our children.  Just as we would protect them from exposure to medications that would harm their bodies.


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