Would you allow your 4th or 5th grade child to read a collegiate level dictionary?

In this link, a parent complained that the Merriam Webster Dictionary included a definition of oral sex. The school district to decided to remove the dictionaries from the classroom in response. Other parents are upset that the dictionaries have been removed from the classrooms and want them returned. Does one parent who is easily offended have the right to dictate to other people's children that they can't have access to a dictionary in their school? The article doesn't specify the age of the children.



according to this other article, the collegiate dictionaries were purchased several years ago to allow advanced readers in the fourth and fifth grades to look up words that they didn't know, Cadmus said.


Update 2:

@catr169--yeah, that's what i was thinking. a collegiate level dictionary is what most people have at home

5 Answers

  • PetMom
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    My daughter developed an interest in dictionaries when she was not quite eight years old. She wanted to collect them and spent her own money picking them up at garage/rummage sales and resale book stores. It would have been so easy to curtail her interest in hopes of limiting her exposure to words I wasn't ready to deal with. Instead, I encouraged her. Other than a few bursts of curiosity, she has not used the dictionary to look up things I would consider inappropriate.

    Any number of parents, should they be the minority or majority, should not be allowed to sensor an entire group. If parents do not want their children looking those things up, they should start by educating them at home on what they, as parents, consider acceptable.

  • 1 decade ago

    Sorry didn't read the article.

    But are you kidding taking the dictionaries out over Oral Sex? Um last time I knew the dictionary provided the definition of the word, not preform it for them. Now if the class was looking it up on the internet at school yes I would have a problem. But a dictionary I don't think so. Would be nice to see more kids using the dictionary for information regarding words not just sexual ones either.

    No 1 person should not be allowed to dictate other children's education or what they should be allowed to have in school or for school usage.

    Who cares the reasoning behind a dictionary I mean isn't a dictionary self explanatory?

    To actually answer your question. Yes I would allow my kids to use a collegiate dictionary. It's dictionary!

  • 1 decade ago

    4th and 5th graders are generally 9 and 10 years old respectively. I would have no problem with my 9 or 10 year old having access to a collegiate dictionary. I have a simple solution, the easily offended child should be home-schooled by his or her parent.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    They're so young they're really not even going ot understand it. Let them have the dictionary.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    My kids have been using adult dictionaries since they could read. We don't have any other sort in the house.

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