Kathy Cain: ‘Howl’ not suitable for impressionable teens | SteamboatToday.com

Kathy Cain: ‘Howl’ not suitable for impressionable teens

The Steamboat Pilot & Today, in its reporting on the controversy surrounding the poem “Howl,” which was required reading for our high school students, chose to disguise certain lines of this poem with symbols. How does one argue that material as written, deemed too graphic for publication in the newspaper, is somehow suitable for impressionable adolescents? 

If an adult wants to read what many would consider debasing literature; it’s a free country — knock yourself out. When this same material is inflicted on teenagers in their formative years, causing feelings of guilt and violation, it’s nothing short of child abuse. 

The word “debasing” as mentioned previously is defined as a lowering in quality, value, dignity; to cheapen. Interesting that the dictionary also gives the antonym or opposite of that word, which is to elevate; to improve. Shouldn’t that be the goal for our beloved high school kids?

Katherine Cain

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