First, an update on Cameron Post in Cape Henlopen:
• From this article, a board member explains why they didn't follow their own challenge policy:
The policy gives a committee 20 school days to make a decision, but board member Jennifer Burton said it doesn’t apply.
“If we had waited and complied with the policy,” Burton said, “then we would have had children reading the book prior to the board’s decision.”
“In this particular instance, we thought time was of the essence,” Burton said.
Mmmmm, no. That doesn't track, because A) in pulling the book without following procedure, you're going the Guilty Until Proven Innocent route, B) that's a FANTASTIC precedent to set for next time, when someone challenges Hop on Pop or whatever, and C) why doesn't the policy apply, exactly? Because you don't find it convenient? Tell you what, the next time you get pulled over for speeding, tell the officer that the speed limit doesn't apply to you and see what he says. (Seriously, though. What's the point of even HAVING policies and procedures if you are only going to use them at your whim?)
• Happily, though, this article suggests not only that the Cape Henlopen School Board is going to revisit Cameron Post, but that some of the board members may have done some soul-searching:
No board member objected to taking it up in two weeks. And board President Spencer Brittingham initially treated Posner's motion as a vote on immediately reinstating the book. Only two board members, Sandi Minard and Jennifer Burton, clearly said "no," and the other five board members appeared to give yes votes.
But before individual votes were recorded, board member Andrew Lewis said he thought Posner's motion was to apply the district's written policy on challenged books to "Cameron Post." The policy calls for forming a committee of teachers and librarians to consider the novel. Posner agreed that was her intent, and the board didn't finalize the reinstatement.
McAnelly said staff from the website AfterEllen.com contacted the store shortly after hearing about the board’s decision to see whether the store would distribute the book to teen readers if members of its online community purchased the books.
McAnelly agreed to distribute the book. She said it’s not the bookstore’s job to say what’s appropriate and what isn’t for customers; as a local, independent bookstore, Browseabout's job is to provide the books that want to be read, she said.
• And NOW, on to a NEW book challenge: Looking for Alaska has been officially challenged in a Wisconsin school district:
"My husband and I read through the book and decided it was not the book for her," Ellen Cox said.
Cox was referring to the novel, "Looking for Alaska," a New York Times bestseller by John Green.
"Looking for Alaska" was part of her daughter's advanced placement English reading list at Waukesha South High School this spring, but the mother of four said it's not suitable for teenagers and has filed a complaint against the district.
Suggestion! How about, rather than asking everyone in the district to conform to YOUR worldview, rather than telling other people what their children shouldn't be allowed to read, rather than demanding that a class change its entire curriculum to suit YOUR personal beliefs, that you ask the school to provide a different assignment for your daughter? Just a thought.
Previously: Still more on the Cape Henlopen/Cameron Post debacle.
Previously: Sarah Polley tapped to adapt Looking for Alaska.
Previously: Top 10 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2013.