In our 6th grade Language arts class we are reading The Watson's Go to Birmingham. My co teacher and I are taking turns reading it aloud to our students while they follow along. Even our lowest students are really enjoying it. They are all attentive and today they even begged us to continue reading instead of going down to the book fair because they wanted to hear what happened next. The book does contain some pretty mild profanity. Some use if the words "hell" "****" and maybe two uses of the word "ass." Before we read the book we preface to the kids that there will be some inappropriate language and as middle schoolers we expect them to handle it maturely. If they can't we will have to find something to read that is more aligned with their maturity level. We also talk about how author's choose their words carefully and how if the author chooses to have a character swear in dialogue it is sometimes tells us information about the character. With that being said my coteacher is not comfortable reading the swear words. She will either skip them and tell the kids they can fill the word in their heads or she will have me read it. I never censor literature for my kids and I read it as written because to me that is the way the author intended it to be read. Surprisingly the kids handle it really well. I get a few snickers because they get a kick out of hearing me "cuss" but they move on quickly. Maybe it's because I grew up in NY where it was more liberal and sometimes I forget how conservative it is down South, but when I mentioned that I had read the cuss words aloud to another one of the inclusion teachers she seemed surprised and said that she wouldn't have done that. She thinks that we should have sent a note home to the parents informing them of the language. For a few uses of "hell" "****" and "ass"? I think that's a bit ridiculous. I've heard much worse from some of their mouths and it's not like the book is dropping F bombs. I'm kind of second guessing my decision now. I mean if a parent complains I am very prepared to back the reasons I have for reading it as written. And it's not like I'm using that language in everyday conversation with my students. What are your thoughts? Do you censor language in literature for your students? Are my coworkers being ridiculous or am I just asking for trouble?