Apparently the Menifee Union School District came to their senses and realized how ridiculous it was to pull dictionaries from classrooms. The dictionaries are back in the classroom and students are free to use this most basic of reference tools.
If they have a signed permission slip.
I would say that words fail me, but that's not exactly true. However, many of the words that come to mind are the kind of words that get dictionaries pulled from classrooms, and my mother has asked me not to swear so much on my blog.
Here's the thing: I am all about parents being involved in their child's education--in fact, I think it's crucial. But requiring a permission slip to use a dictionary is micromanaging your child's education, which is wrong. Educators are professionals, capable of making decisions about how to teach the students in their classrooms. They deserve to be treated as such. I could go into a much longer rant about this, but it would involve several of the words my mom doesn't like.
On the upside, students who aren't "allowed" to use these dictionaries will probably become fascinated by them, reading them by flashlight under the covers at night. I hope they learn all sorts of wonderful new words--and I hope they save the best ones for Thanksgiving dinner.