Cape Banning Books Again?

cape high school  The following video was sent to Delaware Right by a concerned parent in the Cape Henlopen School District. It is a partisan production and does not necessarily represent the views of Delaware Right or its contributors. It is posted in the hopes of spurring conversation. The video was created by Rob Spicer. http://

22 Comments on "Cape Banning Books Again?"

  1. Honi Soit says:

    Thank you for posting this video, Frank. I had no problem viewing or hearing it.

  2. Honi Soit says:

    My initial reaction to it all:

    1. The book contains language that is offensive to some. Maybe to many. Heck, I don’t care for the language and can’t easily see that is serves a useful purpose, but…
    2. I haven’t read the book. That said, I have to note that neither did any one on the Board before they voted 6-1 to “deselect” it from the summer reading list.
    3. Now, let’s do keep in mind that no one is required to read this book. It’s one of 10 books from which students are to choose.
    3. The book in question is not the only one on the summer reading list with equally objectionable language, so why it is the only one to be “deselected”?
    4. The board says that no one lodged complaints about any of the other the other books, and that’s why. And let’s also keep in mind that only 3 parents complained–at least initially–and all complained to one board member. That would be Sandi Minard.
    5. But why did no one complain about the other books? And why not to other members of the school board? Could it be that the book in question is the only book on the list that has a gay theme? Could that be it?
    6. Come, come. Gay-themed books are not a big deal. Not even in Sussex County. Think Rehoboth.
    7. Ahhh, but this was not just any gay-themed book. It’s one where the girl’s conservative grandparents sent her a religious camp to set her straight sexually. It failed. And the book is critical of efforts to try. Yipes.

    I don’t know if this book merits much literacy praise. It don’t know if it’s age appropriate. But I do know enough about organizational structure to say that the school board should concern itself with broad policy and butt out of matters pertaining to materials selection. And if they are unhappy with the selection of materials, then they need to look at revising policy. They cannot and should not be involved in vetting course materials unless they can show imminent harm. And they did not and could not.

  3. waterpirate says:


    When will they learn that ongoing controversy, will NEVER gain them anything, but more controversy. IMHO this ongoing book banning is offensive. It smaks of goose stepping and is a slippery slope which has been written about. The crown jewel was the pot calling the kettle black in the statement ” It is an atttack on the bible and marriage”.

    Our students are smarter than this crap.

    Anyone with experiance dealing with teenagers will tell you that the minute you tell them no, or ban something. They will flock or herd to check it out. This will increase the readership, not decrease it.

  4. Harry Whittington says:

    What a shining example of elected officials and their self importance furthering the nanny state and dumbing down the nation’s children.

  5. Rick says:

    Our nation’s children have been dumbed-down long ago. That’s why they fell from number one in the world to just above Chile. And it is part of a plan, initiated by Wilson and Dewey, early in the 20th Century. Quite simply, a propagandized population is malleable; push “public service” and the collective ideal, and you’ll produce those committed only to the Almighty State.

    …education is a regulation of the process of coming to share in the social consciousness; and that the adjustment of individual activity on the basis of this social consciousness is the only sure method of social reconstruction”…Dewey (1897) )”

    In the 70’s, Dewey’s idea of schools as a path to “social reconstruction” was implemented; and now we must import engineers. Soon, tests themselves will be jettisoned, and we will then have a third-world school system. The elites in academia tell us that they must teach our students “how to think.” Not really; the plan is to “teach” our students what to think.

    Any incoherent jibberish can pass for “creative” writing. But the laws of chemistry, biology and mathematics are inviolable. It seems funny to me that the men who invented the airplane, telephone, air conditioner, computer and so on, who put the world on four wheels and men on the moon did so without the benefit of teachers whose primary goal was to “teach them how to think.”

  6. Harry Whittington says:

    It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. – Albert Einstein

  7. jellibean says:

    read the book in it’s entirety, taking an average profanities are 1 on every 4.7 pages. Other books found on the suggested list contain profanities as well but they were not removed. IMHO the issue certain board members have is not the profanity, but the message that facing and accepting your sexuality is not a bad thing. The main character is made to feel guilty about who she is, her parents die in a car crash her grandparents devout Christians view the girl as evil, they send her to a religious place to rid her of her demons. The girl denounces Christian beliefs accepts who she is and finally faces her parents grave asking them to accept her for who she is. The book and content is age appropriate for high school students. Rumor is Catcher in The Rye is going to removed as well.

  8. Harry Whittington says:

    If the Cape Henlopen School Board tries to remove “Catcher in the Rye” from the curriculum or reading list Governor Jack Markell needs to step in and dissolve the entire Board on the grounds that they are mentally unfit to hold public office.

  9. delacrat says:

    Is reading anything on the summer reading list preferable to goofing off ?

  10. Angry Parent says:

    You can hear one Board member saying several times that the vote was “illegal” and the vote was illegal. There was no public notice and the Board, as you can hear in the audio, disregarded their own policy and removed the book.

    Sandi Minard, Jen Burton, Andy Lewis, Noble Prettyman and Spencer Brittingham all need to apologize to the citizens in the District for violating state law and their own policies and then resign.

  11. Honi Soit says:

    Seems the vote violated the state sunshine law because it was not on the agenda.

  12. Frank Knotts says:

    Rick, surely you find the irony in the fact that this group also wanted to remove “Brave New World” from the school, a book that warns of the very things you just enumerated.
    Everyone needs to focus not on why the book was targeted, the motive doesn’t matter. The real issue here is that there seems to be a group of people in Sussex that want to impose their views on everyone else. The issue is not that a book about homosexuals was censored, the issue is that ideas were censored. Let us say that the book did not deal with homosexuality, and merely was filled with curse words, let’s say that the book was littered with them, I still don’t want this tiny group deciding, especially when they went against their own policy.
    If we allow them to censor this book about homosexuality, what is to stop the next board from censoring a book about heterosexuality?
    I wonder if all of the people who are angered because a book that deals positively with the issue of homosexuality, would be defending a book that say, talked of murdering homosexuals?
    It is not homosexuality that needs defending here, it is ideas that need defending.
    The more focus on the topic of the book that occurs, the more support the board will find. Focus on the policy and how the board failed to follow it.

  13. FLYLADY says:

    Frank is right. From what I have seen of the book (not the entirety), I would not want my child to read it, and would have them select something else. I oppose the subject matter like many who have posted here. However, that is not the issue. Laws and policies are in place for a reason, and should not be violate just to please a few individuals. If there is a problem with the policy, go through the proper steps to change it, but until then, follow it. The potential scenario that Frank illustrates is quite plausible, and should be taken into consideration by those that are backing the School Board members. I’m with Angry Parent…apologize and resign!

  14. waterpirate says:

    To me the issue is

    Is this really the role a school board should be handling? In my world the board would react to a public or school adminastrative issue. NOT create a public or administrative issue. This board seems to not have or understand what it’s mission truly is. It has become a hotbead for ongoing bull$hit that seems to boggle the brain of normal sane people.

    If they violated their own rules of procedure or those set forth by the state they should be recalled or disssmissed with extreme predjiduce. When is enough enough?

    I am truly blessed that I am not in that school district. I feel sorry for the educators, parents, and administrators that have to put up with their shennanigans.

  15. Laffter says:

    No one need racists and homophobes on a school board……

    And with Sandi Minard they have a TRIFECTA… we know what Tea Party rule would look like, and we also have the Sussex GOP to remind us as well

    It would be

    1. Do away with the rules
    2. Make new rules that suit only us
    3. Don’t follow the rules when we don’t want to

    Freedom? My ass, under them it would be tyranny…..

  16. saltyindependent says:

    i believe minards term is up this year. the problem with her is that her views only apply to other people and not to her. she is all for open government then participates in a blatant violation of the sunshine laws by voting on an item that was not on the agenda. whether or not the book is appropriate is up for debate. the fact that they added something to the agenda without public notice is not. i don’t know how a self proclaimed “watchdog” allows this to happen to the people she represents.

    i do think that they did a nice job of putting the issue to rest with their motion. hard to tell who won.

  17. TrutheBeKnown says:


    I don’t agree at all with what Minard did and I believe she should face consequences for her actions. Throughout history, there are accounts of massive book burnings, and they have always have been given a very negative connotation.
    If I don’t like a book, I simply don’t read it but ideas that are expressed in books should never be banned. If the high school kids don’t like the ideas expressed in these books, they will be the first to express that opinion. They must learn that the world in very diverse and they will meet people who express ideas they don’t like or agree with. Minard seems like a control freak to me and, Noble Prettyman was the only rational person on the School Board that night.
    Salty, I agree with your comment.

  18. Frank Knotts says:

    Now that the kids have the choice of what books to read for the summer assignment, I expect about forty-five to come back having read this book, anyone want the over/under on this?
    TruthbeKnown, you see there are things that we agree on, I agree with you last comment.

  19. anon says:

    I’ve been trying to think of one book, movie or real life example where censorship ends up being a good thing. Anyone?

    I think most of the parents at Cape were waiting for that “Footloose” moment when Kevin Bacon and all of the kids come dancing into the meeting and Sandi Minard realizes how oppressive and wrong she is.

  20. saltyindependent says:

    hard to tell if minard is an ideologue or an opportunist. i do agree that censorship or at least the perception of it usually blows up in your face.

  21. fightingbluehen says:

    Looking back at some of the suicides that happened when I was in school, years later people talk, and you find out that a large portion of those suicides happened because people couldn’t deal with the realization that they were homosexual.

    Maybe if a book dealing with the subject was available back then for these kids to relate too, a few lives could have been saved.

    That’s about all I have to say on the subject..

  22. Spike says:

    In good news from the school district, no book burnings have been scheduled.

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