School district pulls dictionaries for ‘oral sex’


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Menifee school district in Riverside County has removed the 10th edition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary from all school shelves after a parent complained about a student running across ‘oral sex’ in its pages. The Press-Enterprise reports:

School officials will review the dictionary to decide if it should be permanently banned because of the ‘sexually graphic’ entry, said district spokeswoman Betti Cadmus.


The move did not sit well with everyone. One parent told the paper that it is incumbent upon parents to be able to answer children’s questions in a way that’s age-appropriate. A member of the school board suggested it should be up to the board, not individual parents, to set policy.

The online version of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary includes a definition for ‘oral sex.’ It reads:

Main Entry: oral sex Function: noun Date: 1973 : oral stimulation of the genitals : cunnilingus, fellatio

Peter Scheer, executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition, told the Associated Press, ‘common sense seems to be lacking in this school.’

-- Carolyn Kellogg