A North Carolina father is completely furious about his daughter's recent trip to the library at East Forsyth Middle School. According to My Fox 8, Travis Vanhoy's 12-year-old daughter rented a copy of a novel Real Live Boyfriends from her school's library.
While trips to the library aren't uncommon for sixth graders, her father feels it is rather odd for such a book to be available to children his daughter's age. When his daughter showed him an excerpt from the book, he was completely outraged. Vanhoy insists the school library book is quite similar to the highly publicized British novel 50 Shades of Grey.
"She said, 'Daddy, this is weird,' and I started reading in it and I was just outraged. It's insanity," Vanhoy said.
Here's an excerpt from a page in the book, shared via My Fox 8.
"And if you don't like me that much anymore, why do you like grabbing my b**b? In fact, I think you like grabbing my b**b more now than you did before you left. And oh, actually, that feels amazing."
Needless to say, Vanhoy found the material quite disturbing and feels the book encourages the wrong type of interactions between middle school-aged children.
"It's telling my 12-year-old daughter -- in my mind -- that it's OK for a boy to touch her and do these things to her," Vanhoy said. "That's what it's telling them. Telling them this is how you act and it's just OK, it feels good, and that's unacceptable."
While Vanhoy isn't insisting the book is an exact replica of 50 Shades of Grey, he argues the dialogue and relationships discussed are quite similar to the notable novel's content, but on a teenage level.
"If they can't just blatantly see why it's wrong then they have no business in the school system," Vanhoy said.
Although the 50 Shades of Grey novel and film adaptation have been widely successful around the world, despite the critical response to the controversial aspects of the storyline, Vanhoy argues that content with even a slight similarity shouldn't be available in a middle school library.
For those who haven't read the book or seen the film, critics have offered a number of cynical perspectives regarding the 50 Shades of Grey storyline, which delves into a number of adult situations, including the glorification of emotionally abusive relationships. However, that's not all. Even those who haven't seen the film are probably aware of the film's intensely sexual nature, which includes sexual practices, chronicling the dynamics between bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism.
The allegations have prompted a response from the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Chief of Staff Theo Helm. Although he is familiar with the award-winning author of the novel, he admits that he had no knowledge of the full text in the book. He also explained that media coordinators normally manage the book collections that are presented in the school libraries, and if parents have an issue with any of the material, they should always feel free to contact the school.
[Image via My Fox 8 Screen Capture]