For generations, Sleeping Beauty has been a classic childhood fairy tale. You probably remember your parents reading it to you as a bedtime story and you’ve likely enjoyed it with your own children and grandchildren.
While it seems like an innocent enough story of a prince kissing a princess to wake her up from an eternal sleep, a UK mother believes that the story has no place in schools.
In fact, she’s gone as far as suggesting that the Prince in the story is sexually assaulting Sleeping Beauty.
The Daily Mail reports that Sarah Hall from Northumberland Park, North Shields in England believes the story is sending the wrong message to children.
She says that the story is teaching children from a young age that it’s acceptable to kiss women when they’re sleeping.
“I think it’s a specific issue in the Sleeping Beauty story about sexual behaviour and consent,” she said.
“It’s about saying is this still relevant, is it appropriate?”
She warned her son’s school in an angry note and asked if the school could remove the story from being read in younger classes.
The 40-year-old wrote: “In today’s society, it isn’t appropriate – my son is only six, he absorbs everything he sees, and it isn’t a if I can turn it into a constructive conversation.”
Despite not wanting her son to be exposed to the story, she still believes it has a place in schools.
She continued: “I don’t think taking Sleeping Beauty books out of circulation completely would be right. I actually think it would be a great resource for older children, you could talk about consent, and how the Princess might feel.”
Still, she stood by her claims that the story, which remains one of Disney’s most successful animated films, is wrong for younger children: “But I’m really concerned about it for younger children, would really welcome a conversation about whether this is suitable material.”
The mother shared a photo of the book on Twitter and said: “Tell you what, while we are still seeing narratives like this in school, we are never going to change ingrained attitudes to sexual behaviour.”
Many were quick to slam her for her comments.
One person said: “Sorry what??? Sarah it is people like you making issues of situations like this that are the problem. Stop!!! You’re making an issue out of something that was never an issue before!! Ridiculous! Let’s wrap everyone up in cotton wool shall we?”
A second comment added: “Another so called concerned mum who wants to get in the news! I feel so sorry for the young children of today who are having adult perceptions forced on them. Let them be children!”
A further person joked: “You know that bears don’t really eat porridge, right?”