Dear Danielle and Nameless Dad, this is in response to your statements over the past week about the wrongful termination of Nate Fisher after you insinuated your way into the Superintendents office. I am specifically referring to your public statements that the book in question was “borderline pornography”, and Nameless Dad’s statement that “[Eightball #22] is clearly over the line”.
I’d like to direct your attention to excerpts taken from literature that WAS on the 9th grade summer author list.
I met her at the West End Bar several nights after her release from the convent. Being youngest, she was the last of the sisters to be released…
“Come on, lover man.”
I got on in.
She kissed with abandon but without haste. I let my hands run over her body, through her hair. I mounted. It was hot, and tight. I began to stroke slowly, wanting to make it last. Her eyes looked directly into mine.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“What the hell difference does it make?” she asked.
Also from the same author in the same book:
I look at the photo. it is a very good photo.
“well, it looks like a cock.”
“what kinda cock?”
“a stiff cock. a big one.”
Allen Ginsberg (one of the best-ever poets in American History and a favorite of mine)
Dinosaur Sinclair advertisement, glowing green—
South 9th Street lined with poplar & elm branch
spread over evening’s tiny headlights—
Salina Highschool’s brick darkens Gothic
over a night-lit door—
What wreaths of naked bodies, thighs and faces,
small hairy bun’d vaginas,
silver cocks, armpits and breasts
moistened by tears
for 20 years, for 40 years?
Pat Conroy, arguably one of the most literary Southern writers around, and a tale-spinner, too, unraveling the very heart of the central conflict in his novel “The Prince of Tides”…
“Lila,” he replied, and my mother took a step back in shock when she heard him use her name. His voice was ill-fitting and still high-pitched. He smiled a hideous smile at her and turned the knob again.
My mother then saw his penis, exposed and enormous, rising out of him, the color of pig flesh….
My grandmother yelled into the darkness from the porch: “That’ll teach you to fuck with a country girl.”
“Your language, Tolitha,” my mother said, still in shock. “The children.”
“The children just watched a guy with his dick in his hand trying to get to their mother. A little language won’t hurt ’em much.”
So, Danielle and Daddy Anon, how did those make you feel? How would you feel if your daughter had read those books and then been asked by a teacher paid to draw kids’ feelings about literature out how it made her feel? If the single, literary, 40-ish lady teacher next door asked your daughter how it made her feel to read about an older man having sex with a younger nameless woman, a la Bukowski, would you feel equally slimed? Be honest now. Did it give you just a little tingle of horror to think about Precious reading about rape, about writhing naked bodies on the high school campus, about a stiffie conversation between the guys?
How about Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle? Illegal alien meatpacking workers warming their feet in newly-slaughtered flesh? That one okay?
Everything I’ve quoted above is approved by your school administration as appropriate reading for a ninth-grade student. I won’t comment on the fact that they recommend authors without specific books — clearly, there are some authors on that list who have written across the gamut of taste, though their best and most powerful books don’t shy away from the truth, no matter how graphic.
Are you all ready? Here’s the raciest image in Eightball #22, courtesy of Journalista:
Oooooh, birthmark porn. Between adults. How does it make you feel? You don’t mind me asking that, do you? Seeing as how I’m a woman and all, with a 13-year old daughter in eighth grade. She just finished “To Kill a Mockingbird”, another tale of the rape of race and women. She’s better for reading it. Her teacher, a youngish sort, asked her how it made her feel, too, although she could ask my daughter in a classroom because my daughter finished her summer reading assignment in July. Both of them.
Man up and apologize for your smarmy smear of a young, talented teacher instead of going on a witchhunt and recruiting your brother (unverified source) policeman to not only try for criminal charges but also to see to it that “he never teaches again”.
I felt sorry for you when I first wrote; now your hypocrisy makes me sick. The only one worth even an ounce of sympathy is your daughter, who I’m sure is dying a thousand deaths inside as a result of your campaign. Go read Rick Green’s column for a reality check. How did it make you feel?
Quit trolling and come out of your closet. When you’re registered at sites like this one and the other one that’s just hard-core, you have no business putting on the sanctimonious suit about this teacher’s behavior with regard to this student. After seeing where you’re registered, I just don’t know what to think, except that maybe you wish you could try to seduce that child. Do you get a lascivious shiver every time you copy and paste this?
Blue Bunny: I’m back in town, kids, fresh-sprung from prison!
Blue Bunny: I paid my dues! It’s all about me this time!
(bunny passes people on street)
Blue Bunny: Wha’ choo lookin’ at, doosh?
(blue bunny passes female on street)
Blue Bunny: Hey red, how’sabouta suck-job? I been living on state pussy for eighteen months!
Blue Bunny: That’s alright for you then, bitch!
(bunny passes sign “now hiring”)
Note to readers: Please compare this language with the language quoted from the authors above for perspective.
USRNGRX, you should come out of your hidey-hole and fully disclose your relationship to this case. And I hope beyond all hope that your involvement in the adult websites bearing your handle has some sort of reasonable explanation. Otherwise, you may be more dangerous to this child than Nate Fisher ever was, even in Mystery Dad’s wildest fantasies.
Finally, to Thomas Forcella, Ed.D., Superintendent, Guiford Public Schools.
In response to your letter, posted 9/19/07, with this admonition:
It is important for parents to know that the material in question rose to a level of unacceptability that is far beyond that of materials normally questioned in educational circles. Also, I want to be clear that no particular student or parent complaint was the cause for this
action. Unfortunately, when issues like this arise the rumor mill begins and in the end can cause harm to some very innocent people.
Respectfully, Mr. Forcella, I call bullshit. Just look at the snippets I posted from other approved authors on your list. Saying Eightball #22 rises to a level of unacceptability is just damage control because you bent to the pressure of a bullying parent who was demanding the head of a talented teacher on a platter. This is just a crap compromise that no one believes because it defies common sense. We don’t feel it. Also, between you and the media, someone has the facts wrong. Did you investigate and then terminate or terminate and then investigate? Which?
No one should blame the daughter for anything other than failing to complete an assignment. Everyone should place the blame where it belongs, on the heads of overzealous, toxic parents who have the nerve to think they can demand someone’s balls along with his head on a platter whenever something offends their sensibilities.
For a community that prides itself on NOT banning books, you’ve just been served your own hypocrisy on a platter. Do the right thing and reinstate Nate Fisher with an apology and back pay.
Aside: I see that the excellent and talented William Dow is now representing Mr. Fisher. Dow, as you might recall, helped Julie Amero with the appeal of her conviction. See also this article documenting counterpoints from other parents and students.
If you’ve landed on this blog since I went on a tear over Julie Amero’s case, I should explain that as a parent, as the descendant and relative of many, many talented educators, and as someone passionate about literature and the way it stirs emotions, thought, analytical thinking and just the desire for the arts, I don’t much appreciate seeing teachers bullied by overbearing parents. If the criminal investigation against Nate Fisher is dropped and he receives an appropriate apology and offer for reinstatement, I’ll shut up. If you’re sick of hearing from me about it, you can always blog it too, so that the truth rises and is heard by those who have the power to make things right.