South Carolina Schools Submerse The Drowning of Stephan Jones

South Carolina Schools Submerse
The Drowning of Stephan Jones

A reconsideration request has prompted the Horry County (S.C.) School District board to order the removal of The Drowning of Stephan Jones by Bette Greene from the library shelves of district middle schools while a panel reviews the book. It has also triggered the ACLU of South Carolina to write Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait in mid-April asking for a copy of the district’s materials-review policy.

According to the April 4 Myrtle Beach Sun, complainant Eugene Carroll Craig wrote directly to the superintendent after browsing a copy of the novel that a friend’s 7th-grade child had borrowed from the Myrtle Beach Middle School. “I do not feel that the book should be afforded the dignity of a review board,” Craig told the Sun, likening the fictionalization of a gay Arkansas couple’s struggle for acceptance to “a rattlesnake [that] needed to be killed right then and right there.”

Reiterating his objections at an April 22 school-board meeting, Craig asserted, “I have six children and eight grandchildren. I would like for them to grow up to be 18 years of age without being force-fed obscenity.” A review panel of parents, teachers, librarians, and principals has been established to examine the book.

Posted May 13, 2002.