School Board Cancels Book Program to Avoid Uproar Over LGBT Novel
The Cape Henlopen School District in Delaware, which serves schools in Rehoboth (aka Rehomo), is under fire this week after some say it removed a novel from its summer reading list because of its LGBT content.
The book in question, emily m. danforth’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post, is a YA novel concerning a young woman who’s sent to live with her conservative aunt after her parents are killed in a car crash. In her new home, she is criticized for being a lesbian, and subsequently sent to a “de-gaying” camp.
Parents complained the book wasn’t suitable for children, citing several instances of the “f-word,” so the school board removed it. danforth and AfterEllen.com say the removal wasn’t properly thought out, and that it exhibits “blatant, not-even-really veiled homophobia.” They kicked off a whole campaign to get the book back on the list, but the School Board, in an attempt to kill the issue, decided to put the kibosh on the reading list altogether. danforth (who spells her name in all lowercase letters) released a statement, which read in part:
The Miseducation of Cameron Post was included on a librarian-developed list that was part of a summer reading program for incoming freshman. You took the drastic action of removing the book from that list, thereby eliminating it as one of the books students participating in that program might choose to complete their assignment. Yes, my book is (apparently) still available in the school library–which is wonderful–but it is no longer a part of this important summer reading program because of a direct action taken by this school board. Period. That’s the very definition of censorship, Mr. [school board President Spencer]Brittingham. But surely you know this. (It does seem that this board rather likes to hide behind its rhetoric.)
So far the school board hasn’t taken action to reinstate the reading list or danforth’s novel, but, as she mentions in the above statement, it is still available in the school library.