To The Daily Sun,
I am a freshman student at Gilford High School. I recently have been given a literacy assignment on the book "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult in my honors English class. This book depicts a shooting at a high school, and includes bullying and relationships within this school. There has been a big topic in the news these last few days that a parent found a page in this book that describes a scene in which intercourse is present. Although I usually try to steer clear of any drama that goes on in the news or on social media, with the topic being this book, I absolutely had to get my opinion out there.
To be completely honest, with no context to the rest of the story, Page 313 is very graphic, and if I were a parent I would be outraged as well. However, as a student who is reading the book, I understand how it impacts the rest of the story. The descriptions on this page and on many other pages explain how a teenage girl is being controlled by her boyfriend. The point of this passage was not to put descriptive images into students' heads, but rather to get the point across that the main character, Josie, was being sexually assaulted by her boyfriend, Matt.
I could go on to say that "High schoolers know what this stuff is," but I'm not going to. However, I do want my voice and other students' voices to count, and not just the voices of adults. I want people who are watching the newscasts and reading the paper to understand that the overall meaning of the story is not sex. It is a story about teenagers going through rough points in their lives.
The impact this book has had on me and many of my peers is phenomenal. For the first time, the issue of bullying has been discussed intently in the classroom. It has really opened my eyes and I now see the views that other people have on subjects such as bullying and violence. Even outside of our English classroom, students have been discussing the contents of "Nineteen Minutes." With this understanding of bullying from the story, hopefully kids will become more tolerant of people who are different than them.
Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge my opinion.