Printed on: November 19, 2013

Where is the protest?


The recent firing of girls basketball coach Loraine Cook from Pocatello School District 25 made international news. Cook was fired from her coaching position after she posted a picture of herself and boyfriend, football coach Tom Harrison, in which Tom is touching her covered breast. Coach Harrison was only reprimanded while Cook was fired because she was the one who actually did the posting on the social media site. Superintendent Mary Vagner has even gone so far as to send Cook's teaching certificate to the state seeking to have her license revoked.

Pocatello School District 25 has taken the stance that it takes morality issues very seriously. I find it ironic that the school district has not taken the same stance on the reading lists that are given to their 11th-grade students through the new Common Core Standards. If a teacher can be fired for a picture posted on a social media webpage, then where is the outcry for the absolute pornographic material our 11th-grade students are required to read?

The reading lists are even used in Idaho Falls School District 91, where 11th-grade students are required to read "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison, a very graphic novel based on incest and rape. The reading lists also include such books as "Dreaming in Cuban," which is another pornographic read. Our teenagers are already inundated with sexual materials in the media.

Nancy Jo Sales, who published an article called "A look at teenage relationships in the age of social media," wrote: "Adults may be shocked -- shocked! -- to learn that teens today are obsessed with sex. And Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder and other online tools are seemingly robbing America's youth of meaningful, loving relationships."

In our social media world, school districts have the tough task of dealing with morality issues and it is apparent that parents must be ever vigilant in knowing what teenagers are reading, texting and viewing.

An Arizona school district has already pulled the sexually explicit books from its reading list after parents stated their concerns to school officials. Education activist Donna Garner states, "Such books are highly offensive to those who hold traditional values such as belief in personal responsibility, self-discipline and respect for other people."

Apparently the same cannot be said for Idaho schools. After parents brought their concerns to the Idaho Falls School District, nothing changed. The parents of an Idaho Falls High School junior have even removed their student from the classroom due to the required reading. Where is the protest of the Common Core Standard reading list from our parents and school officials?

Trujillo is serving her first term in the Idaho House of Representatives. She is a Republican representing legislative District 33, the Idaho Falls city district.