Steamboat Springs School District apologizes for teaching sexually graphic poem to teens
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — There’s a growing controversy in Steamboat Springs over a sexually graphic poem a high school teacher was requiring students to read in class.
The issue forced the district to publicly apologize on Monday.
“I was just blown away,” said Brett Cason, whose daughter was forced to read the poem in class. “This is college material. This is not high school material. I mean, we’re talking about a minor. It’s pornography from the ’50’s.”
The poem is Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl,” so sexually explicit U.S. customs officials seized 520 copies of the poem in 1957.
Fast-forward 62 years, the controversy has come to Steamboat.
“A teacher requiring 16-year-old girls to write down vulgar terms for human genitalia,” said Jeremy Dys, an attorney with First Liberty, about the controversy over the poem.
“I mean the very first four lines, I’m like – ‘No. This is crazy,’” Cason said.
For 16-year-old Skylar Cason, it was too much.
“I was extremely uncomfortable and taken aback,” Skylar said. “And I know that my friends were, as well.”
Steamboat Springs High School administrators have supported the teacher thus far, but Cason says at a recent meeting — even the principal couldn’t get through the poem.
“He said he couldn’t,” Cason said. “He couldn’t read it out loud.”
Dys says the poem is wildly inappropriate, especially in the #MeToo era.
The rest of Denver 7’s article can be found here.