Saturday, January 04, 2014

Sex,Lies, and the Classroom by James P. Wilcox

Sex, Lies, and the Classroom, James P. Wilcox. self-published, 2012. e-book, 799 pps.

Sex, Lies, and the Classroom is a bit deceiving at first glance. It reads like a poorly written memoir but in fact it is a work of fiction. There are some things that the author got correct in the book and perhaps a few things that he did not, in my opinion.

The teacher, Mr. O'Connell, styles himself as a maverick in the inner city school that he teaches at. The students are poor and mostly black. (The Black English-- or Ebonics-- is something that James P. Wilcox got right). The principal views Mr. O'Connell as a pain in the ass. I understand why.

Three students plot to get back at the teacher and they do. They accuse him of sexual misconduct. And they plot to have others do the same. Predictably, Mr. O'Connell is suspended and then fired after a Board of Education hearing, even with his attorney who is pretty good. He is also reported to Child Welfare and he is ordered to stay away from his own two children. Several of the parents of the students start a lawsuit.

sapphoq reviews says: The book was too long. The conversations between all of the people in the book who are (considered to be) not black and poor were stilted and overbearing. This was a major failing in Sex, Lies, and the Classroom.  I wanted to take a pen and slash the dialogues down into more realistic and manageable pieces. Even the more pedantic among my acquaintances do not talk that way. The prologue and the epilogue were the best parts of the book. Give this one a pass unless you want to torture yourself needlessly. Not recommended at all.

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