Teachers & Educators
From: AAA Director/author Steve Alten
Reference: The issue of “appropriate language”.
One of the questions I get asked at teacher seminars is whether there have ever been any problems with using my novels in school because of the occasional curse word. (Remember, While most of the so-called “classics” also share these words.) , and I have yet to see one school district decide against using the program for this reason, I have never heard of a problem in dealing with the issue.
When I wrote these novels, I was not attempting to cater to schools, I was trying to write a realistic thriller. I’ve since rewritten MEG, removing all the F-words. Only The TRENCH has the F-bomb in it, so beware. None of the these books should be a problem.
What will happen with your students if they read a forbidden word:
They’ll giggle. Get excited. They have just received forbidden fruit, and reading just became “cool.” By the third curse word, they won’t even care. (It’s not like they haven’t heard it everyday). Just as slang is part of our society, so is foul language. This is not an excuse, simply fact. Turn on the TV after 8 PM and you’ll find far heavier sexual innuendo and violence than appears in any of my novels. And there is far more science and research in my work than curse words.
More important, your students will READ (and finish) these books. Quickly! Some teachers feel more comfortable by simply addressing the issue with parents before they begin the unit. Below is a sample letter to parents. Feel free to incorporate it any way you wish. Last – there is always an exception to every rule. As such, if you ever come across a parent that has a problem with the language, feel free to have them e-mail me at Meg82159@aol.com I will reply quickly, professionally, and in a way that “sells” the program for you.
Steve Alten, Ed.D.
Below is a SAMPLE LETTER TO PARENTS