Parents with kids at a primary school in the northeast corner of England are appalled after their kids were assigned an excerpt of a book referencing that time when Lorena Bobbitt sliced off her husband’s penis with a butcher knife.
A teacher at Mortimer Community College in South Shields assigned the homework, the Daily Star reports. (“Community college” is basically a term for a combined public junior high and high school in British parlance.)
The book from which the excerpt came is “Notes From A Small Island” by Bill Bryson, which “will delight Anglophiles” with “trenchant, witty and detailed observations of life in a variety of towns and villages” in Merrie Olde England, according to Publishers Weekly.
The part of the 1996 book that disturbed parents isn’t about England, though. It was about the United States.
“If some woman in Shitkicker, West Virginia, cuts off her husband’s dick and flings it out the window in a fit of pique, it’s second lead on the 9 O’clock News,” the offending passage reads.
The passage alludes to the night when Lorena Babbitt allegedly cut off the penis belonging to her husband, John Wayne Bobbitt, on the fateful night of June 23, 1993. The incident occurred in Maryland, not West Virginia.
The Daily Caller says “allegedly” here because Lorena Bobbitt was eventually acquitted and found to be criminally insane. However, Bobbitt admitted to lopping off John Bobbitt’s penis with a big knife. She tossed it in a field. Bobbitt’s penis was later found and, thanks to the heroic work of two surgeons, reattached to Bobbitt during an operation lasting nearly 10 hours.
Parents said they were “mortified” by the assigned passage’s “filthy innuendos,” according to the Daily Star.
“I was disgusted that she came home with this,” a parent told the Mirror, another British rag.
“What other people do in their homes with their children is entirely up to them, but my child does not hear anything like this at home,” the parent added.
The head teacher at the school, Claire Mullane, called the homework assignment a “mistake” and has apologized to parents and students.
“Once we were aware of what had happened, we acted on it immediately and spoke to the class in question and apologized to them,” Mullane said, according to the Daily Star.
“Myself and the member of staff have now written to parents of the pupils concerned and they should have received those letters at the weekend,” the head teacher added.
If you are wondering what happened to John Bobbitt, he appeared in a couple porn films: “John Wayne Bobbitt: Uncut” and “Frankenpenis.” In 1998, he appeared at World Wrestling Federation event. He has also worked as a bartender, limo driver and a pizza delivery driver.
Lorena Bobbitt changed her name. (Not surprisingly, there was a divorce.) She has since worked at a Washington, D.C. beauty salon and founded an organization that seeks to prevent domestic violence. She has a daughter.
Both Bobbitts have had additional run-ins with the law since they initially gained notoriety.