An article popped up in a newspaper in New Hampshire the other day about a mother who would like The Hunger Games removed from her daughter’s middle school curriculum because of its violent subject matter.
Greg Kwansik reports for the Goffstown News, that Tracy LaSalle’s 11-year-old daughter began having nightmares after reading the book in her seventh-grade class. Ms LaSalle told the School Board that the book was inappropriate for her daughter or any other student.
Ms LaSalle took her concerns to last month’s School Board meeting where she described several passages in the book.
“Twenty-four children are pitted in a life-or-death struggle with each other. The reason? Entertainment. That’s sick,” LaSalle said. “You guys don’t want Columbine, but you’re putting forth material that will totally desensitize the children to murdering other children.”
“What does that teach as far as honor?” LaSalle asked. “What does that teach as far as ethics? Where is the moral lesson in this book that’s being shown to our children?”
The report goes on to say that after hearing the complaint, the School Board Chairman and the Superintendent of Schools promised to review the book and issue their findings within 30 days.
It’s also reported that Ms LaSalle’s daughter was removed from the class where Hunger Games was being taught. Ms LaSalle told the Goffstown News that the problem wasn’t with her daughter, but with the book.
“The answer to this situation is not removing my daughter from the classroom,” LaSalle said. “It’s removing this filth from the school district.”
So what do you think? The Hunger Games concept is indeed a frightening one. When the book was recommended to me, the story line didn’t sound like something I wanted to read at all. However, I think Suzanne Collins does a brilliant job of telling a story that doesn’t shy away from depicting the inevitable deaths, while keeping the ethics clear. Calling it filth shows a lack of understanding of the book and its intentions. I would hope that teachers are able to help a child understand that this is a story that makes us think about violence and some of the aspects of our society reflected in the world of Panem.