Alexandra Petri writes humorous articles for the Washington Post. She wrote this column in response to a furor in the governor’s race in Virginia. Democratic candidate Terry MacAuliffe asserted that parents should not tell teachers what to teach, and Republicans are outraged by his statement. They say that parents should have that power. Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin released a commercial featuring an angry mother complaining that her son in an AP class was required to read Beloved by Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison.

Petri writes:

Hello, everyone! We’re going to have a great year! Some minor, barely noticeable adjustments to the curriculum have taken place since Glenn Youngkin took office. This is a college-level class in which we’re supposed to be tackling challenging material. But you may remember the Glenn Youngkin commercial starring the mother who was trying to stop “Beloved” from being taught in her senior son’s AP English class on the grounds that he thought it was “disgusting and gross” and “gave up on it.” Anyway, he supported that kind of parental control over the curriculum, so we’ve had to tweak just a couple of things!

Below please find our reading list new and improved reading list after being forced to bend to every concern from a parent:

“The Odyssey” mutilation and abuse of alcohol, blood drinking

Brideshead Revisited” not sure what’s going on with that teddy bear; house named after something that should be saved for marriage

“The Handmaid’s Tale” everything about book was fine except its classification as ‘dystopia’

“The Catcher in the Rye” anti-Ronald Reagan somehow though we’re not sure how

“The Importance of Being Earnest” includes a disturbing scene where a baby is abandoned in a train station in a handbag and the people in the play regard this as the subject of mirth

“Candide” buttock cannibalism

“Don Quixote” makes fun of somebody for attacking a wind-or-solar-based energy source

“Great Expectations” convict presented sympathetically

“Les Miserables” see above

“King Lear” violence and it’s suggested that there are scenarios where parents actually do not know best

“The Sun Also Rises” offensive to flat-Earthers

“Death of a Salesman” features a White man to whom attention is not paid

Okay, well, I’m sure there are still some books we can agree on even if they aren’t at the college level! We can probably extricate meaning from these.

“Charlotte’s Web” valorizes someone who uses her hindquarters to communicate

“Matilda” suggests that the tyranny of school administrators can create a stultifying environment for their children

“Harold and the Purple Crayon” contains The Color Purple which we have been told is badStory continues below advertisementnull

“Clifford the Big Red Dog” communist???

“The Snowy Day” several concerns, most to do with CRT

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” this gave my son a nightmare

Nope, sorry, we aren’t reading anymore. A parent complained that the books on the reading list transported them to different times and places against their will and forced them to imagine the lives of people different than themselves. This is like kidnapping and probably also brainwashing, and we can’t possibly read any texts that do this.

We’re looking forward to engaging with complex, challenging texts that will teach us to read critically, write compellingly and look at the world with new eyes sitting here staring at the wall thinking about what it might have been like to read books all semester long!