Same State, Different District: NCAC Goes to Bat for Cam Post in Indian River, DE
Update: KRRP wins again! Last night, the board President withdrew his appeal before it went to a vote, resulting in the return of the book to the shelves of Sussex Central High’s library. Read more about the meeting here.
Another day, another Cameron Post challenge. Just months after NCAC fought tirelessly against a challenge to emily m. danforth’s lauded The Miseducation of Cameron Post in Cape Henlopen, DE, the book has found itself on the chopping block once again in another district within the state. This time, Cameron Post has been removed from Sussex Central High School’s library in DE’s Indian River School District, which, as you may recall, was the site of an earlier challenge to a health curriculum.
After the School Board President complained about – yes, you guessed it – the book’s profanity, the book was removed from the Sussex Central High School library. The District dutifully followed its policies closely and thoroughly, assembling a review committee to determine the book’s merits in the library. The committee unanimously decided to restore the book to the library, with the Superintendent accepting those recommendations. That said, the President filed an appeal anyway. The issue will be discussed at a Board meeting on Monday.The ACLU of Delaware, ABFFE, AAP, CBLDF, PEN American Center, SCBWI, and NCTE joined NCAC’s letter, which urges the Board to respect the judgment of its professional staff and reinstate the book. Signatories point out, in particular, the problems with chiding the book for its profanity – an issue NCAC has, with the help of noted library professional Pat Scales, written to Cape Henlopen about in the past
. The signatories argue that “[a]n author’s broad moral vision, total treatment of theme, and realistic portrayal of characters and dialogue are ignored when complainants focus only on individual words that they may deem offensive.” The signatories continue by pointing out that “[p]rofanity is often used by authors for important literary reasons: to convey emotion, add emphasis, express honesty, and communicate realism and authenticity.”
Ultimately, the book’s removal flagrantly defies numerous Constitutional and educational principles. As such, NCAC, the ACLU of Delaware, and other signatories hope that the rest of the Board will endorse the recommendations of both the committee and the Superintendent by returning the book to library shelves.
To access this letter as a pdf, click here.
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