Parenting

Je ne suis pas amusé. Même un peu.

We’re on our way home from Boy Scouts and Malachai told me I need to write a permission slip for him to read a monologue in his drama class because it discusses suicide. Je ne suis pas amusé. Même un peu.
 
First thing out of my mouth, completely bypassing my missing filter, was “but you didn’t need permission to read Romeo & Juliet.”
 
Which led to minor discussion of the facts that R&J involves not only suicide, but underage sex, underage marriage (ok, caveat, not underage for it’s time period), and the deaths of at least six other people. Not to mention sexist attitudes, out of date ideals, and begs the question of why on earth we’re still forcing children who had no interest in the Bard to read his works. 
 
I’m biased. I don’t like Shakespeare. Never have, and likely never will. I like some other, updated, versions of his stories, but as they say, there is nothing original. I bet his were stolen, mish-mashed versions of other bastardized stories too. 
 
Then I asked if he had it so I could skim it and at least pretend I read it before saying he could read it. He left it at school, but he was able to recite the first, I dunno, third-to-half of it for me. I saw no problem with his chosen monologue.
 
When we got home, I had the same discussion above with BrotherMine. Who had the same reaction as me. Malachai also told his sister (who is 10) what I said, and they started singing Teenage Suicide which made me belt out “Teenage Suicide Don’t Do It by Big Fun!” in my terrible radio voice, which made the ten year old say “right?!”
 
Funny, I don’t remember watching Heathers with her.
 
I digress. Why do we need a permission slip for him to read a monologue about/that touches on suicide? The two other permission slips I was recently given for the sex ed class were only to be turned in if I *didn’t* want them to have that discussion. 
 
Pardon me while I laugh. I’m fairly certain my kids could lead that discussion. Properly. 
 
So I find myself in the weird position of writing said permission slip, and trying to decide if I should bite my tongue or not and point out my Romeo & Juliet realization.
 
Maybe they should need a permission slip for Death of a Salesman, Hamlet, and what about those Percy Jackson books? There is character death in those too. What about Our Town? The entire town is dead in that one. Ghosts are regaling us with their monologues. I’ve long said I’m more concerned about explaining violence than I am about explaining sex. Sex is easy. Violence, not so much. 
 
While I get the stigma attached to suicide, I think a lot of that is from not discussing it. Which again leads me full circle to why I need to write a stupid note of permission for him to read a monologue from a play. 
 
Just to top off this ludicrous request, if my son needs permission to read the monologue, does every other student need permission to hear the monologue? I am not amused. Not even a little. Je ne suis pas amusé. Même un peu.
 
PS – I emailed a letter of permission. I included the Romeo & Juliet bit and the everyone else needs a permission slip to hear it bit. I suspect all that will come of that is the teacher telling my oldest that he sees where he gets it from.

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