I find it ironic that Jonathan Lange’s column appeared in the newspaper on the same day that Todd Reynolds wrote a letter to the editor lamenting the fact that Laramie County School District 1 is allowing censorship of two pages of "Seahorse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea" by Chris Butterworth.
Mr. Lange reports that parents are “showing up at school board meetings to object to the teaching of junk science …” I surmise that some parents saw "Seahorse" as presenting junk science and asked that two of the pages in the book be expurgated. I read "Seahorse" and am not sure why two pages were censored. Was it because there was a picture of two seahorses twisting their tails and twirling as they mated? (Heaven forbid, they are having sex!) Or was it because we are told that the female carries the eggs, which are deposited into the male’s pouch, thus impregnating the male, who eventually gives birth to new seahorses? (Heaven forbid, this is not natural!)
"Seahorse" is a book that does not teach junk science, and there was no reason for LCSD1 to censor any part of the book. It is a sad state of affairs when parents misinterpret science in such a way that children are denied true scientific knowledge.
Teachers spend many years at university learning about their subject area and taking teaching methods courses, so they are better able to impart that knowledge to their students. The vast majority do a more than adequate job of imparting that knowledge to them. We should trust that they know what they are doing, but also keep a watchful eye to make sure they are doing so.
When they aren’t, parents have every right to question what they are teaching. But allowing parents to determine that good science needs to be censored is wrong.