Dad's Sarcastic Reply To School Permission Slip Goes Viral

Ray Bradbury​ is still stoking controversy

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It's a rare day when a debate over literary censorship goes viral, but let's pause for a moment to appreciate one of the web's more cerebral moments.

When American writer Daniel Radosh's son presented him with a letter requesting permission to be allowed to study Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 – the classic sci-fi dystopia about a world in which books are burnt and banned – he couldn't resist pointing out the irony.

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"I love this letter! What a wonderful was to introduce students to the theme of Fahrenheit 451 that books are so dangerous that the institutions of society – schools and parents – might be willing to team up against children to prevent them from reading one," wrote Radosh to young Milo's year 9 teacher.

"It's easy enough to read the book and say, 'This is crazy. It could never really happen,' but pretending to present students are the start with what seems like a totally reasonable 'first step' is a really immersive way to teach them how insidious censorship can be."

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"I'm sure that when the book club is over and the students realise the true intent of this letter they'll be shocked at how many of them accepted it as an actual permission slip.

"In addition, Milo's concern that allowing me to add to this note will make him stand out as a troublemaker really brings home why most of the characters find it easier to accept the world they live in rather than challenge it.

"I assured him that his teacher would have his back."

To be fair to the school in question, it's not hard to imagine certain evangelical types objecting to all that bible burning. Either that or they were worried the kids might find the fire-breathing eight-legged robotic dog character a little scary. We know we did.