American parents angered by child's gay book
March 19, 2004
WILMINGTON, North Carolina — The parents of a first-grader are fuming over the book their daughter
brought home from the school library: a children's story about a
prince whose true love turns out to be another prince.
Michael Hartsell said he and his wife, Tonya, couldn't believe
it when Prince Bertie, the leading character in "King & King,"
waves off a bevy of eligible princes before falling for Prince Lee.
The book ends with the princes marrying and sharing a kiss.
"I was flabbergasted," Hartsell said. "My child is not old
enough to understand something like that, especially when it is not
in our beliefs."
The 32-page book by Linda De Haan and Stern Nijland was
published in March 2002 by Tricycle Press, the children's division
of Ten Speed Press of Berkeley, California. A follow-up, "King &
King & Family," was recently published.
The publisher's Web site lists the books as intended for readers
age 6 and up.
Barbara Hawley, librarian and media coordinator at Freeman
Elementary School, said the book has been on the library's shelves
since early last year.
"What might be inappropriate for one family, in another family
is a totally acceptable thing," said Elizabeth Miars, Freeman's
Hawley said she couldn't comment on the book because she hadn't
seen it. She declined to say whether she knowingly selected a book
on gay marriage.
The Hartsells said they are keeping the book until they get
assurances it won't be circulated. But Hawley said all county
schools have a committee that reviews books after their
appropriateness is questioned, and the Hartsells must make a
written complaint and return the book for review.
The Hartsells said they intend to file such a complaint and are
considering transferring their daughter. – Sapa-AP
First public gay high school in US to open in New York City this fall [29/07/2003]