I don’t post a lot about current events and gossip just because I choose to focus on my work and my hobbies in this particular forum (ask me in person, that’s another story). But I have to vent about this because it broke my heart.

My little girls at school¬†love Chris Brown. Love. Him. We have several biographies about him that are constantly checked out, and since all the press about his “alleged” treatment of Rihanna, I’d been pulling the books about him as they came back to the library. I haven’t discarded them yet, I’d planned on waiting until it became clear beyond a reasonable doubt that he did or did not beat Rihanna, although the grim reality of everything I’ve read suggests that he did. But, in the interest of fairness I was waiting until it was acknowledged publicly one way or the other.

I’m not waiting now.

I’d suspected that in the fallout after that fight, some of my girls would side with Chris Brown and think that because he is who he is Rihanna should just take it. And that suspicion was part of why I pulled the books in the first place; these kids don’t need role models like this. They deserve better, and so do the boys. Being accused of beating your girlfriend is not something to aspire to, and they can find better people to look up to.

Today a 4th grade girl asked me for a Chris Brown book. I told her class that I’d pulled them from the shelves in light of the recent news about Rihanna and him. Most of the kids understood this. But she stamped her feet, gave me a sly smile (like she thought the whole thing was cute), and said, “But she had it coming! She deserved whatever she got.”

There it is. That’s exactly why I pulled the books, and I told her that. Her whole class got a speech from me about deserving more, expecting more. I asked this little girl if she grew up and was in a relationship where she got hit, would she think she had it coming? Would she want other people to think she deserves whatever violence she gets? She said no, which I expected. I got a lot of “mmm hmmm”s from the other girls in her class, but I have no idea if this one really got it. That’s why the Chris Brown books are now in my discard pile.¬† They can go to the public library for books about him if they still feel he’s worth it.