Debate Rises Over Book Removal - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Debate Rises Over Book Removal

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - Controversy continues to grow after a book was removed from the Cape Henlopen School District summer reading list for college prep and honor students. Over a month ago, Cape decided to remove "The Miseducation of Cameron Post," due to what they called obsessive profanity. This decision alarmed many neighbors, who took the action as homophobic, since the novel focuses on a lesbian protagonist finding her sexual identity. 

A local business, a national website, and even the author are getting involved. Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach was contacted by an international website called AfterEllen.com. The website, which is a supporter of the author, Emily Danforth agreed to donate books to the book store, so long as they were given out for free to all teenagers who requested them. 

At the store, Manager Susan Mcamelly said the books were flying off the shelf. 

"Just this morning, we've given out about 20 copies," she said at around 11:00 Friday morning. "Teenagers walk in and say 'you know - I heard you were giving away this book. Can I have a copy?'"

Mcamelly said the store has already given out approximately 100 books, so many that they had to order another batch of 250. 

"I feel like this is a worthwhile read," she said. "The book has won numerous awards. It has spoken to people on our staff." 

Doubts have been raised over the actual intentions of the school board, due to the fact that other books on the list have comparable levels of profanity. Mcamelly told WBOC that another book on the list, "Eleanor and Park" uses a similar amount of swear words, but was allowed to remain on the list. 

The controversy has even made national attention, after the author wrote a passionate editorial on the subject for Huffington Post. She said that the board was "hiding behind claims of finding too much 'inappropriate language,'

"This is the most depressing part of this entire dismal and embarrassing charade..." she said in the editorial. "This feels like a particularly insidious form of homophobia, one that's not nearly as covert as you must think it to be." 

Some on Delmarva think the decision was appropriate though, such as Jordan Reynolds of Milton. "There is no way I would want my kid to," he said. "I don't know if any high school age is appropriate. But definitely not an incoming freshman... I don't agree with the profanity."

The decision to remove the book from the list was approved by a vote of 6-1 in early June. The sole vote against the removal was by Vice President of the board Roni Posner. At a July 10 meeting, amongst all the controversy, Posner recommended putting the book on the agenda for their July 24 meeting for reconsideration. No decision has been made at this time. 

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