Removing book from reading list misguided

July 11, 2014

I am dismayed at the recent decision by the Cape Henlopen school board to censor “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” a book that, admittedly, none of the board members had read.  The decision to ban this book from the summer reading list for incoming freshmen is short-sighted and reminds me of the dark days of the 1940s and 1950s when books, movies and plays were banned because they didn’t live up to someone’s “moral” standards.  Their decision is as comical as the priest in the movie “Cinema Paradiso,” who, when previewing movies, would ring a bell when he found something offensive that needed to be edited out.  At least this fictional priest watched the entire movie.

If the Cape school board really believes that 13- and 14-year-old kids haven’t seen the F-word in print or heard it in a movie before, or at home or at school, well I would suggest that they take their heads out of the sand and start living in the real world.

Don’t get me wrong - I’m not advocating that we don’t correct our young adults when they speak crudely, but all this board is doing is trying to “hide the gay.”  

First it was the misguided decision of Cape High School Principal Brian Donahue to ban members of the school’s Gay Straight Alliance from wearing their rainbow stoles during graduation, and now it’s banning a book about a teenage lesbian, under the guise that there were just too many “dirty” words in the book.  Too many times I have heard from former Cape students who are gay who experienced bullying and, when they complained, received a cold shoulder from Donahue and other administrators.  And this decision by the board, if it is allowed to stand, is just another form of bullying.

If the Cape school board thinks that they can “protect” our youth by banning books dealing with subjects some small-minded people object to, they might be interested in some oceanfront property I have for sale in Vail.

Meyer J. Persow

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