The Ridiculous Reason That "Captain Underpants" Has Homophobes Upset

"Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks A-Lot," the latest installment in the "Captain Underpants" series, has caused some tension in Michigan schools due to a gay relationship in the book. In this book, Harold, one of the main characters, goes 20 years into the future and learns that he has married his partner, Billy.


Though this is just a small detail in the story at large, it has rattled educators in the state. Rockford Public Schools has just notified parents that the book will be available at the upcoming Scholastic Book Fair following Arborwood Elementary School's controversial decision to ban the book from its annual book fair.

“Scholastic notified us and the school that there was a book that may be a little controversial,” Monroe Public Schools superintendent Barry Martin told Detroit TV station WXYZ. “[Arborwood] decided we’ll make it available online, but we won’t make it available in the actual book fair itself.”

According to WXYZ, Arborwood's parent-teacher organization banned the book over concerns that children buy books at the fair without parental consent.

“Most of the kids come in and they buy books and the parents aren’t part of the selection,” said Martin. “In this case, we felt it was necessary that if this book was going to be purchased, the parent needed to be involved in that.”

Martin voiced support for the decision, adding that it was not driven by censorship, but parental consent.


Given the nationwide fracas surrounding the book fair ban, it's unsurprising that Rockford Public Schools in Michigan decided to make parents aware of the book at the school's own fair beforehand.

"Our philosophy is to be as transparent as we possibly can when dealing with parents and their children," superintendent Michael Shibler told Mlive.com.

Shibler also told parents that they have a right to know what their kids might read at school.

"At Rockford Public Schools we value every person that steps foot into our buildings," Shibler said. "At the same time we believe that our parents deserve to have the background information related to material that may not align with the values of many families."

According to the American Library Association, "Captain Underpants" books were the most banned books of 2013 and 2014.

Here are some reactions to the book controversy: