Robot 6

Minnesota mother objects to Bone‘s content and library availability

Bone: The Dragonslayer

Bone: The Dragonslayer

A parent in a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, has filed a complaint with the school district objecting to the content in the fourth volume of Jeff Smith’s popular Bone series.

Ramona DeLay of Apple Valley told Sun Newspapers she was “a little shocked” that her son, and elementary-school student, was reading a graphic novel depicting drinking, smoking and gambling. She filed a formal request to the school district on on March 15 asking that the book be “withdrawn from all students.” In the complaint, DeLay also cited “sexual situations between characters.”

The district’s Reconsideration Review Committee will meet on April 27 to consider DeLay’s request.

I’m certainly only guessing, but I imagine this has to be one of the very few times that Smith’s bestselling, and multiple-award-winning, series has been challenged. Tom Spurgeon has additional commentary.

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50 Comments

The Ugly American

April 16, 2010 at 11:20 am

Yes, because when she was a child, Disney characters never did such things.

This is inarguably the stupidest complaint I’ve ever heard about a comic book.

RonnieThunderbolts

April 16, 2010 at 11:54 am

Better just remove all the books from the library. This is a completely preposterous complaint. Bone is perfectly acceptable material for children. I suppose that Where the Red Fern Grows, the Diary of Anne Frank, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the Bible, Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings have to go too. Can’t let kids read about stuff, they they might think, learn and enjoy reading! What is this world coming to when our kids are allowed to read about *GASP* things!

Meanwhile, her kid is probably playing Halo and Call of Duty and watching R-rated films and she has no knowledge of it.

This woman is clearly an idiot. If we could pair her up with Sarah Palin, we’d have a complete pantomime horse.

Of course, we’d have to figure who’d wear the rear end of the costume.

“And look at the title, it is so obscene! I do no want my children to know what “Bone”-ing is either!”

What about issue twelve of the Unwritten? Kid friendly?

I have 4 kids ranging from 20 to 4 years old and I would happy if any of them read Bone. Astounded that my 4 year old was reading it at all, but you get the point.

Well obviously if no one’s said anything in the 20 or so years since the original Bone’s publication, now would be the perfect time to complain.

We should all ban that book with the Sodom thing written on it. Pervy stuff.

Dear god, if she finds Bone offensive, don’t let her near a copy of Kick-Ass.

Imagine the outcry if one of the teachers showed Pinocchio in class.

I acknowledge that I’m a little right of center, but this is ridiculous. I’m betting this woman makes her son wear a helmet to school, too.

I have to agree with you guys, that lady is buggin.

It can take many people years to get graphic novels into libraries, but just one a$$-hole to get them out.

“Oh no! This book has words! BURN IT!”

You know, when I saw the headline, I expected it to be because of dragon’s and the hooded one… this? This is ridiculous!

C’mon….Bone??? *sigh*…another parent who likes to “sugar-coat” life. “Lighten up, Francis!”

Somebody needs to get to Minneapolis-St. Paul and do some Kick-Ass.

Wow, you’d think we would have moved beyond idiocy like this…. unfortunately, seems not.

So does that mean her child won’t read Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn or Alice in Wonderland or a thousand other examples.

Wake up parent!

She should be happy the little bastard is reading something.

This doesn’t surprise me at all – I think it’s silly, but I am not surprised. The wife of a good friend of mine – a librarian in an elementary school – got frustrated with “covering up the cleavage in Bone” that she took it to the principal and he said to just remove it.

True story. I was kind of stunned and I couldn’t even think of a response. I did go looking for the cleavage later and I think I found it, but I’m not sure (maybe when the girl is bathing in the first vol and when she is transformed into a Victorian looking queen type in aone of the last books).

This is something comic lovers don’t always understand – parents are coming with a very wide rage of view points. For some, current Spider-Man and JLA, etc is fine for their 8 yr olds, for some, more violent/sexual books are okay, and for some Peanuts and Care Bears is going to have content they object to. Having comics in schools is great and something I’m dedicated to (both through my website comicsintheclassroom.net and my own grade 3 classroom) but it can be VERY tricky. The use of the word “crap” can give me pause (as in Flight Explorer).

Very Tricky.

For the record, in my gr 3 classroom I have Bone 1-4 (both aproved by my Principal 2 yrs ago). If a kid is excited about the books I will pass #5 on through the parent, having them involved in the decision and I encourage them to go to the public library or bookstore for 6-9 (they get darker and I’m not comfortable giving it to 8-9 yr students – my own childern, sure, but not my students).

..You know, what would put an end to these bimbo parents would be for someone for any and every fan who comes across them to beat the living shit out of them for being so retarded. There are times you let the Village Idiots babble, and then there’s time you have to kick them in the balls to let them know when they’ve gone too far. This is one of those “too far”” times, and this bimbo needs to be put in her place.

such a dumb ass my son now 12 has loved the bone books for a couple years now and if it gets him to read I will buy it and I will buy more if someone trys to tell me what my kid can or cant read same thing happened over the Harry Potter books Mark Twain Huck Finn etc…..your job as a parent is teach your kids right from wrong and manners

WOW.

Just….WOW.

i seriously cannot believe this. This woman is stupid.

Not surprised…

But still…

Someone find her address and I will buy and mail Preacher to her house myself!

Just be glad it wasn’t the Cow Race collection.

I wonder if the complaint about “sexual situations” is just because none of the Bones are wearing pants.

The problem with America is that we give morons like this fool a voice. It will be our undoing.

@Sad Butt True – you said it perfectly and your name is ever-so appropriate:

“It can take many people years to get graphic novels into libraries, but just one a$$-hole to get them out.”

Let’s hope this complaint is toothless and the book stays

Oh no! I just remembered the whole “eggs as currency” going on in the book. Surely more complaints are forthcoming about this “socialist bartering”. We may not have heard the end of this fight.

I have a 4 YO. She loves reading Bone. I’d recommend it to any parent wanting to get their kids into comics any day.

This just in “Man on street, Outraged by things and situations!”
Wukong is right. Not all people’s opinions are valid. Just ignore her and she’ll go away.

Pretty funny complaint, but it rings a bell with me. Does anyone else remember reading Bone in Disney Adventures as a kid? They totally censored some panels where Thorn’s cleavage was apparently too much for kids to handle. I wish I’d kept those DA magazines to scan, but of course I recycled them ages ago, and can’t find any evidence. But I totally remember when I finally bought the first Bone TPB, the scene where Thorn takes a bath with Bone (and it isn’t even shown in the comic lol) was omitted from the Disney Adventures reprints, and they erased her boobage from issue #5 when she jumps off the dragons back.

Parents are nuts these days. But yeah I can totally understand them censoring Bone, it fits in well with their policy of censoring EVERYTHING AT ALL TIMES.

Forgot to mention, the mere implication that Fone Bone and Thorn might have maybe been skinny dipping off-panel was enough to merit deleting that page from a Disney publication for kids, yet they did not have an issue with the rat creatures implicitly murdering Thorns parents and many others. Sex is wrong, anything that might be mistaken for sex is wrong (like taking a bath… off… panel…?), violence is a-ok. Awesome. Yay America.

Another frakkin’ fundamentalist fearmonger targets a beloved children’s comic? Yeah, THERE’s a surprise. Feels like the Reagan years all over again. Let’s hope it doesn’t turn into the “Seduction of the Innocent” years.

I have three kids ranging in age from 10-15, and I don’t find that sheltering children from everything really helps them prepare for life…AT ALL. Reactionary morons such as this woman produce the most screwed-up, repressed, self-loathing kids you can possibly imagine: it’s a bloody crime. Show me this woman’s children in a decade, and I’ll show you human train-wrecks beyond all hope of a normal existence.

Here’s the deal. This woman has an opinion – and no matter what anyone else thinks of it – she has every right to voice it freely.

If this woman does not want her own children to read Bone, that is fantastic. A parent is taking control and taking responsibility – and you can feel bad for her kids all you want, but someday they’ll grow up to do the exact opposite of her choices. And if that includes reading those copies of Bone that Mom forbade, they’ll realize how tame they are, and – like all kids at some point – that Mom’s an idiot.

The problem is, it is not the right of this woman to decide that all other children shouldn’t be reading Bone. For that, I hope someone stops this ridiculous bullshit.

this IS not that big a deal look at how long its been since any one actully challenged the bone it been out for a long time and this is the only complaint I know the same argument siad here could also be siad about Asterix .

The fact is this good be the best thing that has happend to jeph smith in a while I know I would never have picked up Harry Potter except I wanted to know what people were complaining about the worse this will do is cause people to go out and buy more copies good day

For crying out loud…

So What!!!!?

We need to BAN THE PHONE BOOK! I’ve read it before..And you know some of those people listed ARE DIRTY PERVERTS! The phone book allows our precious snowflakes (Aka Children) the ability to call those DIRTY PERVERTS, which in turn will allow them to TALK TO OUR CHILDREN! SAVE THE CHILDREN!

Please… before you all take up pitchforks and torches, and become monsters yourselves, please consider this:

A library (if professional) has a written policy about how books are selected for the collection.
A library (if professional) has a written policy regarding how complaints are filed, reviewed, and processed.

This parent, doing what parents should do, was concerned about what her child was reading.

She filed a complaint. The school district has scheduled a public review of the book. The system is working. Everyone involved seems to be civil and rational.

(And isn’t it interesting… on the fifteenth anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, hardly any media considered the need to tone down the anger and rhetoric which fuels the ideological bonfires and brushfires burning today, and which could fuel the crematoria ovens of the future.)

I love bone I read all of his books

Am a mother of an ISD 196 elementary schooler who has read several of the Bone series. Will be attending the April 27th review. Hope to stop other people from A.) Parenting my child and B.) Avoiding their own tough parenting job by just banning things they doesn’t want to explain to their children. That’s the best I can do to, as a previous poster said “…bring some kick ass to mpls/st paul…”

Not quite in defense of her actions, but how many times have we opined that parents should take an interest in (pay attention to) what their kids are reading and watching? Then when one of them does, and reacts negatively, we wish she would just shut up about it?

On some level, we do need to be happy that she is paying attention, since so many do not.

Thorsten, Ben and Scott T make good points that resonate what is essentially the crux of the matter: if you get 100 people together, they will have close to 100 views on any subject.
Parents, teachers and librarians are those responsible for their children; now imagine that some of the 100 lined up are conservative, old-fashioned people that remember the times legs could not be shown at all – and the move isn’t as surprising any more.
What is a LITTLE surprising is that the lady does not see that the times have completely changed. Legs are now all over the place, sex and violence rule the gaming world and the movie world.
So, yes, while she may save him from reading Bone this way, I’m pretty sure the youngster knows something called the Internet.
It’s a tricky line to thread, but if we take the line of censoring and forbidding everything WE may find offensive, where does that leave everyone else.
Obviously, in a very barren world.
On the other hand, don’t get me started on violence – of which there is way too much in comics & movies. America is definitely a double standard on that one. There is simulations of sex everywhere, but violence has long moved beyond simulation. Why? Why is a breast more destructive than a head blown off?
Anyhoo – my 5 cents; cheers!

In reading through the myriad of bashing comments listed it has the feeling of a mob mentality and you want to lynch the Minnesota mom. Stop for one moment and think what we are trying to teach our youth. We spend millions each year attempting to educate our youth about the perils of tobacco. Yet, we are completely undermining our efforts when we provide them with literature that showcases behaviour we want to stop. And you are calling the Minnesota mom an idiot???? Don’t tell me that kids know how to get past that because actions speak louder than words. Yes, kids are exposed to smoking on a daily basis, but you’re not going to bring a guest speaker into your classroom that lights up in front of the 8 year olds to get their fix. That would be asinine, but we give it to them in a book to read? There are many time period classic books that have references that would not be appropriate written today. Our knowledge has evolved so we should honour it.

As an educator I spend hours each day having the kids think through their choices and what is the best option for them. Kids receive mixed messages all the time. By providing a primary student a book with these themes I am condoning the message inside. Conroversial books are covered at higher grades and with classroom discussion alongside. Bones books can be and are taken out of a library and read individually by kids so young they are barely capable of reading.

I know it makes you guys feel good about your decisions when you smash others and I know you will do the same about my comments. You wonder why more people do not complain? Most parents and classroom teachers for that matter will not have read through every single book their child reads. So there are a lot of parents that have no clue what their child is being exposed to and how it is undermining the lessons they want their child to embrace. For the rest of us that do know and attempt to be vigilant about the messages sent to our kids we will be ambushed by people like you that can not stop and see another side of the story.

I am not happy that my 7 year old brought home a Bone book from school. I’m not going to trash anyone, but it is not appropriate material for that age group. No my child does not ‘wear a helmet to school’ as one person so eloquently crazed about the Minnesota mom. I am not overly protective of my child, but I am purposeful in what my child should be exposed to at what age.

If Bone was made into a movie in its current form it would have a rating that would keep it from being shown at an elementary school. Yet it’s okay to have that content in a book form?
Disney ran a number of Bone comics a number of years back, but censored them to remove some controversial material. So Disney has more sense than our public elementary schools? That makes no sense to me. Bone does push the envelope on several fronts. Yes, Hollywood and the video game industry completely pushes the envelope, but as parents we do need to vigilant about what our kids are exposed to at what age. If you are going to let your 7 year old play “Halo” you will at least get the warning on the video game case stating that it was not created for that age group. Bone doesn’t come with that warning. It’s just available for any small child to pick up and devour with their impressionable mind from the school library. For kids, teachers are people they trust and if a teacher/librarian is giving them the book, then the message they get is the content inside is okay for them. Parents regardless of their opinion of the material do not have the option to censor the book when it is given to a child at school as they are uninformed of the occurrence and mostly uniformed of the content. Are the Bone books bad in the entirety? No, however there is questionable content for young viewers. That can not be argued. People in this column argue that they are exposed to the same content elsewhere. That may be true, but it still doesn’t make the school exposure acceptable.

I do suppose the majority of people making comments above do not have kids and the ones that do… It’s like the parent that laments how their kids don’t listen or are being saucy, yet they allow them to watch a smart-ass kid lip off to their parents on a t.v. show. There is a correlation and I see it everyday. I know parents writing to this column smashing the Minn. mom will not agree and I wish you luck with your child rearing. You are going to need it.

Man, I’m glad she hasn’t read any of the later volumes like Crown of Horns, where characters are getting beheaded and other stuff like that.

Your point is???

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