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The Miseducation of Cameron Post Follow Up and Attachments

The Miseducation of Cameron Post Follow Up and Attachments

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Published by ncacensorship
In response to concerns expressed by members of the board about profanity in The Miseducation of
Cameron Post, we have consulted Pat Scales, a longtime school librarian and expert on literature for
children and young adults, to address the question of whether the presence of profanity is a legitimate
reason to exclude a book from the curriculum or reading list, and to discuss the educational
consequences of adopting a policy that did so.
Pat Scales holds a Masters of Library Science from Vanderbilt University. From 1972 – 1998 she was
the head librarian for Greenville Middle School in Greenville, South Carolina, and from 1998-2006 she
was the Director of Library and Information Services at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the
Arts and Humanities. For twenty years, she led a program called “Communicate through Literature,” in
the Greenville schools.
In response to concerns expressed by members of the board about profanity in The Miseducation of
Cameron Post, we have consulted Pat Scales, a longtime school librarian and expert on literature for
children and young adults, to address the question of whether the presence of profanity is a legitimate
reason to exclude a book from the curriculum or reading list, and to discuss the educational
consequences of adopting a policy that did so.
Pat Scales holds a Masters of Library Science from Vanderbilt University. From 1972 – 1998 she was
the head librarian for Greenville Middle School in Greenville, South Carolina, and from 1998-2006 she
was the Director of Library and Information Services at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the
Arts and Humanities. For twenty years, she led a program called “Communicate through Literature,” in
the Greenville schools.

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Published by: ncacensorship on Jul 23, 2014
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08/19/2014

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ByElectronicMail   
July 23, 2014Superintendent Robert S. Fulton and Members of the Cape Henlopen Board of EducationCape Henlopen School District1270 Kings HighwayLewes, DE 19958Re:
 The Miseducation of Cameron Post 
 by Emily DanforthDear Superintendent Fulton and Members of the Cape Henlopen Board of Education:In response to concerns expressed by members of the board about profanity in
 The Miseducation of  Cameron Post 
, we have consulted Pat Scales, a longtime school librarian and expert on literature forchildren and young adults, to address the question of whether the presence of profanity is a legitimatereason to exclude a book from the curriculum or reading list, and to discuss the educationalconsequences of adopting a policy that did so.Pat Scales holds a Masters of Library Science from Vanderbilt University. From 1972 – 1998 she wasthe head librarian for Greenville Middle School in Greenville, South Carolina, and from 1998-2006 shewas the Director of Library and Information Services at the South Carolina Governor’s School for theArts and Humanities. For twenty years, she led a program called “Communicate through Literature,” inthe Greenville schools.Since 1975 she has been a Lecturer on children’s and young adult literature at Furman University, and aguest lecturer at colleges and universities, including Drexel University, Marquette University, GeorgeMason University, Louisiana State University, University of Arizona, University of Texas, Florida StateUniversity, University of South Carolina, University of Kentucky, University of Nevada Reno, Universityof North Carolina Greensboro, University of Alabama, University of Southern Mississippi, ButlerUniversity, University of Wisconsin, and Rutgers University.She chaired the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee from 1994 – 1997and 2000 - 2005; served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of School Librariansfrom 1983 – 1987 and was the chair of its Intellectual Freedom Committee from 1994 - 1995; and shewas President of American Association of Library Services to Children from 2008 – 2009 and servedon its Board from 2005-2010. Since 2005, she has been Chair of the Book Links Advisory Board (ALA),
 
and has served as Chair of the ALA Newbery and Michael Printz Awards Committees and the ALAPublications Committee.She is the author of 
 Teaching Banned Books: Twelve Guides for Young Readers
,
 Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your School Library 
 and
 Books Under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children’sBooks.
 She writes a bi-monthly column for
 School Library Journal 
, a monthly column for the RandomHouse website, curriculum guides on children’s and young adult books for a number of publishers,and is a regular contributor to
 Book Links
 magazine.She is a frequent consultant to school districts, libraries, and publishers around the country, and hasreceived many honors and awards for her work promoting literature and education for young people.She also serves on the Council of Advisors of the National Coalition Against Censorship.We hope her comments about literature containing profanity, prepared in response to the controversyover
 The Miseducation of Cameron Post 
, and the attached articles from professional journals, will beuseful to you in your deliberations.If you have any questions or if we can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.Sincerely,To:
 Bob.fulton@cape.k12.de.us
SpencerE.Brittingham@cape.k12.de.usRoni.Posner@cape.k12.de.usJennifer.Burton@cape.k12.de.usAndy.Lewis@cape.k12.de.usSandi.Minard@cape.k12.de.usNoble.Prettyman@cape.k12.de.usAlison.Myers@cape.k12.de.us
Susanna Reich, ChairChildren's and Young Adult Book CommitteePEN American CenterJoan Bertin, Executive DirectorNational Coalition Against CensorshipCharles Brownstein, Executive DirectorComic Book Legal Defense FundMillie Davis, Senior DeveloperAffiliate Groups and Public OutreachNational Council of Teachers of EnglishJudy Platt, DirectorFree Expression AdvocacyAssociation of American PublishersLin Oliver, Executive DirectorSociety of Children's Book Writers & IllustratorsChris Finan, PresidentAmerican Booksellers Foundation For Free Expression
 
Should Schools Avoid Literature Containing Profanity? By Pat Scales July 2014 Profanity is a feature of everyday life. Students are exposed to it at school, at home, in the movies, and elsewhere. The fact that it appears in books is thus not surprising, since literature reflects the human experience. Some may ask, so what? Why choose books that reflect a reality we dislike, or that might make society even coarser than it already is? There are very practical reasons: a great deal of literature contains profanity, including many books that are read by high school students around the country. A school board policy that restricts the use of books because of profanity will then exclude books commonly used in college preparatory English classes like:
To Kill a Mockingbird 
 by Harper Lee,
Lord of the Flies
 by William Golding,
The Great Gatsby 
 by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and
Native Son
 by Richard Wright. Colleges expect students to know these works, as well as a long list of other classical and contemporary literature. Students who are denied the opportunity to study this kind literature in high school are therefore at a great disadvantage when they apply to and enter college, or when they apply for jobs that require sophisticated verbal skills. Perhaps more importantly, profanity is also used by authors for important literary reasons: to convey emotion, add emphasis, express honesty, and communicate realism and authenticity. One author offers this explanation: I couldn't write about a kid such as I was without using profanity
. [W]hen the characters talk, and when we are in their thoughts, the language is often profane
. [A] story doesn't ring true unless its tone is intimate, unless it reveals the secrets of its characters' lives. And we don't reveal our secrets in self-protective language.
Davis, Terry, “The Author of
Vision Quest 
 
Responds to “Hidden Secrets,”
English Journal 
Pat Conroy expresses similar sentiments: I see myself as bearing full witness to the times in which I live and explaining both the pain and beauty of my own life to myself ... Let me comment on the gutter language. It has been my observation that some of God's creatures like to cuss. I record that particular habit. Other of his creatures like to pray, to kill, to laugh, to drink, to give parties, to go to war, to make friendships, to blaspheme, to do evil, and to try to record it all. White, Robert A.,
,
English Journal 
, April 1992.

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