UpDate - Vol. 12, No. 27, Page 6
April 15, 1993
In the news

Recent comments in the media about the University and its community are
featured in this regular column.

What can Johnny read?
     "Until the publicity generated by professional organizations, advocacy
groups and books like What Johnny Shouldn't Read provoke a loud and
sustained outcry from opponents of the textbook censors, the balance of
power described in this book is unlikely to change significantly."
     Author Joan DelFattore, a professor of English at the University of
Delaware, thus warns us at the outset of her book. She then goes on to make
a detailed, intelligent case for saner textbook policies in the United
     She starts in the microcosm, by introducing Rebecca Frost. In August
1983, Rebecca was beginning sixth grade at a Tennessee public school. She
was doing her homework as usual one afternoon when she stumbled on a
question that flummoxed her. She asked for help from her mother, Vicki
Frost, a devout, fundamentalist Christian. The mother had a reaction that
would resound first through her own community and ultimately through the
nation itself.
     The controversial story "A Visit to Mars," from a text produced by the
publishers, Holt, Rinehart &Winston, describes an amiable encounter between
Earthlings and Martians. The author explains Vicki Frost's alarm this way:
"If everyone could understand everyone else...American Christians might be
contaminated with foreign ideas and religions. Even worse, global unity
might result. A united world is only one step away from a one-world
government, and Frost feared the end of the free enterprise system and a
decrease in the American standard of living."....
     Vicki Frost's challenges drew national backing from a collection of
determined, sophisticated and well-heeled organizations....
     Meanwhile, Vicki Frost and company widened their case against the Holt
texts charging that they were promoting gun control, demon worship,
idolatry and feminism. At the same time, they maintained that the books
educated against free enterprise, the military and Christianity....
     The author devotes considerable space to Texas and California, states
that because of their size and purchasing power tend to dictate what
publishers include in and exclude from their texts. Not all the influence
being exerted on publishers is fundamentalist Christian. Some, particularly
in California, is from the left, DelFattore says.
     She cites one short story, Patricia Zettner's "A Perfect Day for Ice
Cream," as an example of prevailing absurdity. Not wanting to encourage
youngsters to eat junk food, the publishers withdrew all references to
burgers, pizza and ice cream from the story. Its censored title: "A Perfect
     To the author's credit, while she obviously takes her subject
seriously, her writing style is fluid, even folksy. Example: "One of the
selections criticized (by fundamentalists) was "Goldilocks and the Three
Bears," in which Goldilocks gets away scot-free after committing illegal
entry, petty larceny of porridge and vandalism of Baby Bear's stool."
     Also, to her credit, the author isn't doctrinaire.
     "The only difference between fundamentalists and politically correct
extremists," she says, "lies in the specific truths they wish to promote or
suppress; the principles on which they operate are the same."
                                                   "A call for sanity on what
                                                             Johnny can read"
                                                    The Philadelphia Inquirer
                                                                 Feb. 7, 1993

Aquaculture expert
     Welcome to the perils of aquaculture, or seafood-farming if you
prefer, as practiced in the water-rich expanses of southern Delaware.
     This new food production industry is emerging in an area beginning
roughly at the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal but primarily centered in
Sussex County....
     The University of Delaware's College of Marine Studies is heavily
involved in these aquaculture operations as are experts at Delaware State
College and Delaware Technical and Community College. "Aquaculture is still
in the rudimentary stage here. We need help from the legislature to
increase the state resources we will need for additional research and
development," says John Ewart, aquaculture technology specialist of the Sea
Grant Marine Advisory Service at UD's marine studies college.
     Ewart has developed the state's most comprehensive aquaculture
resource center and library at the marine studies complex in Lewes and
operates the Aquaculture Resource Center there to serve people interested
in starting up their own operations.
                                                             "Fishy Business"
                                                               Delaware Today
                                                               September 1992