My task today as volunteer in the 1st grade was to pre-view old National Geographics and remove any potentially objectionable material before the kiddos embarked on a collage project.
Despite the overtones of censorship of such a fine magazine, I could also understand that 1) the kids don’t necessarily need to be exposed to bloody war scenes and 2) kids will be kids and boobs in a collage could be just become a big joke instead of the cultural experience of the picture while whole in the magazine.
I was struck, though, when a little girl came up to me with a “real simple” magazine and told me that she had found an “inappropriate picture” (her words). The picture was part of an advertisement for soap, and showed a man and a woman engaging in the most innocent of smooches. No passion here, folks, just a peck. Their eyes may not have even been closed. I should have just shut up, but before I could take that wise approach, I asked why the picture was inappropriate. The little girl replied that the class shouldn’t be looking at things like this because “it could teach us stuff”. I left it at that, but couldn’t help but wonder: what on earth ARE we teaching our kids if they see an innocent kiss between two adults as inappropriate. It seems as if we are in danger of censoring, well, life!