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Is "jacka**" okay for a first grader to say?

Posted by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 7:18 AM
  • 32 Replies

 What do you think?

Would you want your first-grader reading about a character who calls another character a name?  Specifically a jackass?  Or would you want a choice in whether they read that book?


School officials have refused a literacy group’s request to hand out copies of a best-selling children’s book to first-graders because it ends with a mouse calling a donkey a jackass. School officials in neighboring Gloucester said Tuesday that they plan to send a letter home to parents asking whether they want their children to receive a copy of “It’s A Book,’’ by Lane Smith. Rockport Superintendent Susan King told The Gloucester Daily Times that she liked the book’s message but felt that the language is inappropriate. In the book, a mouse calls a donkey a jackass after the donkey cannot figure out how to use a book and tries to use it as an electronic device.

by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 7:18 AM
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by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 8:09 AM

I wouldn't really mind if they were using it as saying it is a jackass instead of referring to it as a donkey, but if the mouse is calling him a name and it is jackass, I don't think I would want my kid reading it. I don't know the story, but if the mouse calls the donkey a jackass for doing something stupid, it will send the wrong message to my kid. Next thing I know, my son will come to me and tell me his sister called him a jackass.

by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 8:14 AM

 I guess it would depend on the context it was being used... Since a jackass is technically a male donkey it would be okay ONLY if it was being used for that... if the mouse was saying "Donkey you're such a jackass" then no...
In Shrek when Shrek tells Fiona "I've got to save my ass" he's referring to Donkey so I didn't see the "wrong" in it, but he wasn't using it in a derogatory way.  The same thing for bitch... Technically its a female dog so if its being used for that purpose its a derogatory way then no.   

In general no I still would rather have my kid say male donkey or female dog, but only because it can get majorly misconstrued. I have exposed my daughter to the actual definitions of both words and shes in first grade though and have explained to her why I don't want her using those words.  I hate how modern language has made so many words derogatory when really the meanings are so benign. 

So I guess to answer the question lol, I would want to read the book myself first to see how it was being specifically used. If it is saying "Donkey you're a jackass" then no I wouldn't have her read it, but I would still prefer the choice.

by Bronze Member on Dec. 9, 2010 at 8:49 AM

While I don't want my kids going around saying jackass, I have read them stories where the word is used & I had to tell them what it was referring to, not the bad word.

by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 8:52 AM

I say no. I would never want anything like that leaving my child's mouth.

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by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 8:54 AM

If it is for referring to the Donkey then yes I find it find since that is the proper term for them. Now just for them to say it just because NO it is NOT ok. I have talked to my children about this and they know the difference.

by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 9:01 AM

 That's iffy....My son loves to cross the dam, basically because he can say the word dam a billion times as we cross it- but he know he is not to say it in any other reference, he knows he will be in trouble if he says damn. He is in in 1st grade I would say he would know better if it was to reference a jackass vs name calling....I did take away pinocchio because they say jackass, but that is because I have another child who is very immature and we have a time with him, lol. So it is hard to say since all 1st graders are on different maturity levels.

by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 9:05 AM

I personally would not want my children going around saying jackass but if they were using it as a name, instead of donkey, I might not mind.  Also the age would need to be considered.  My 5 year and some in his class might think it's funny because they may know that ass isn't something we say.  But if in the book they are name calling, not sure I'd like that.  Is there a lesson to be learned, and again, is it age appropriate?

by Mikki on Dec. 9, 2010 at 10:53 AM

If he's reading a book, I may not mind but I would explain to him that we don't say that word normally or call anyone it.

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by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 11:01 AM

I don't think it's appropriate for a first grade level book.  I have a fifth grader, and that is a problem I found pretty common for him starting about 3rd grade.  Some of the content of the books that he was reading was better suited for an older child.  He read a book last year called Jack on the Tracks, and when I bought it, it said it was suitable for 8 years and up.  It talked about suicide, young kids drinking alcohol, and porn.  I'm a lot more careful now about what he reads.

by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 11:03 AM

no. I don't want my SD saying that word ever.

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