Teacher's Job in Jeopardy for Reading to Kids from Ender's Game

A middle school teacher who read to his students from Ender's Game is on "administrative leave" because a parent complained to the school that Orson Scott Card's classic novel is "pornographic." The parent also went to the local police, who have not yet pressed criminal charges against the teacher, according to the Aiken, SC Standard.

Children's advocacy group Commonsensemedia.org has recommended Ender's Game for children aged 12 and up — and the child whose mother complained to the school and to the police was aged 14. But at the same time, the school has a policy requiring teachers to "preview" any supplemental material they present in class, so school officials can check for offensive ideas or themes, and the unnamed teacher did not do that in this case.

Ender's Game was one of three books that the teacher read to students, as part of the school district's literacy initiative. The school has since reviewed the three books and determined that two of them have inappropriate language (including swearing) and "in some instances, subject matter and terminology" that administrators consider inappropriate, says the Standard.

The school issued a press release stating that the student and his mother both considered Ender's Game to be "pornographic," and they complained to the school on Friday morning. The school had an administrative conference with the teacher on Friday afternoon, and the teacher was placed on leave. The police investigation into the teacher's conduct is described as "ongoing."

Update: According to a news report by local station WRDW, the police incident report in the case claims that the teacher read "pornographic material from the Internet to the students in class. One of the stories was about prostitutes having their faces covered with ejaculation." But according to the WRDW report, the school is still maintaining that the offending material was just three books that the teacher read to class, which were primarily offensive due to swear words. (Thanks to AJRimmer for pointing us to this.)

We've got calls out to the school, the police, and the school district. We'll post an update when we learn anything else.