Book About 2 Gay Princes Denied to Children by School Committee

( [email protected] ) Mar 29, 2004 09:17 AM EST

Parents of the first-grade girl who brought home the controversial children’s book about two gay princes can be more at ease now that the school committee voted 8 to 3 Friday to allow the school library to only check out “King and King” to adults.

Michael and Tonya Hartsell, who were initially “flabbergasted” when they saw the book their daughter had checked out from the Freeman Elementary school library in Wilmington, N.C., said the decision the school panel made satisfies them.

Even Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) wrote in a letter to North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Ward, saying, “The choice of whether - and how - to expose such controversial topics to young children should be placed in the hands of parents, not un-elected and unaccountable school officials.”

The school committee’s decision reflected the reviews of parents, educators and community members on the book about a gay Prince Bertie who refuses to marry any princesses but chooses a Prince Lee in the end. The book even shows the characters kissing in the end with a heart to cover their lips.

Dutch authors Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland have said they did not intend for the book to be controversial. School officials have said they did not intentionally order a book with a gay theme but earlier said they had no problem with the book.

However, Robert Knight of the Cultural and Family Institute used the “King and King” as a warning to parents of an agenda homosexual activists have to indoctrinate the school with material that would attempt to teach that homosexuality is normal.

The Hartsells said the book promoted something outside of their beliefs. The book has been returned and they have decided for now not to transfer their daughter to another school.