LGBT-Themed Book Causes Delaware School District To Abolish Entire Summer Reading List
You know a book is good when a school bans it — that’s how the saying goes, right? Well, thanks to one Delaware school board’s decision, a "controversial" book has been flying off the shelves. Emily Danforth's novel, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, which features a gay protagonist, was banned by a Delaware school — and in turn, caused the school board to decide to eliminate their entire summer reading list.
According to Boing Boing, the board first wanted to simply remove Danforth’s book from the list, arguing it contained too much profanity — not because its story was centered on a lesbian teenager. However, WBOC reported that several other books on the same list also contained foul language. The issue gained attention from media outlets like AfterEllen, and, next, bookstores. According to WBOC, the book has been selling more rapidly since news of the school board's decision caught wind, and 250 copies of the book were even donated to Browseabout Books, a local bookstore.
Roni Posner, vice president of the school board, and the one woman who wanted to keep the book on the list, tells WBOC that not only is the book important, but that it's no worse in the language department than many of the other books on the list:
"I think it's a very important book, it's beautifully written and it tells a wonderful story to which students can relate," she said. "As I understand it the main reason it's been put forth is the language and I've reviewed the other books on the list and they all have 'the language' in it, so if we're going to take this book off the list then we should abolish the entire list in my opinion."
Eventually, the school board just abolished the entire list. Board president Andy Lewis explained there is no “process to evaluate it after someone complained,” and that it was news to him that there was profanity in many of the other books. And so, after a six to one vote, the whole summer reading list was no more.
This isn't the first time this summer that bigotry has been rearing its head in book-banning. In July, Singapore’s National Public Library removed three books featuring nontraditional families from its shelves.
Hopefully, this kerfuffle will serve as a lesson to future school districts: take down an entire reading list because of one LGBT-themed book, and everyone will want to read it.