What Lauren Myracle said

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt September 9, 2014
A photo of Lauren Myracle from the April 29 event posted to Tumblr by author Len Vlahos. This image has been cropped to avoid identifying DHS students.

A photo of Lauren Myracle from the Aug. 29 event posted to Tumblr by author Len Vlahos. This image has been cropped to avoid identifying DHS students.

Editor’s note: This article contains language that some people may find offensive. 

There was a lot of confusion regarding a note Decatur High School Principal Noel Maloof sent to parents about something author Lauren Myracle said to the school’s ninth graders on Aug. 29.

Decaturish.com filed a records request for emails Maloof received about the Aug. 29 presentation in order to clarify what happened.

School officials would not repeat what the author of the “Internet Girls” book series had said, and neither would officials with the Decatur Book Festival, which invited the author. The note itself was vague and only referred to an “unfortunate event” involving an unnamed author, identified as Myracle by multiple sources. A parent contacted us wanting to know what it was all about.

City Schools of Decatur provided two emails sent to Maloof. In one of the emails, a teacher-librarian recounted what Myracle said.

“Lauren Myracle started by talking about writing books with realistic characters and situations and that many of her books have been challenged because they don’t cut away from the first kiss to the next morning,” the teacher wrote. “She believes that teens should be informed. There are realities like getting your period and dealing with tampons. She talked about how grown ups are scared to have open dialog about sex.

“She spoke of her son being at her parents’ home introducing his grandfather to ‘South Park.’ And then referred to the term ‘queef.’ And said it several times. She later spoke again about her son coming home and saying I don’t have any interest in ever having anal sex.”

The emails are posted beneath this article. Myracle did not return a message seeking comment.

CSD Superintendent Phyllis Edwards said that CSD made the decision for Maloof to send the note and it wasn’t done at the request of the Decatur Book Festival.

“We wanted to make sure that we were ahead of it in case there was a problem. That’s what we do. If something comes up, we try to get the word out to the best of our ability,” Edwards said. “This is something we honestly can’t speak about.”

Maloof said he wasn’t in the auditorium for the presentation, but said that several teachers told him what happened.

“I know one of the questions is why I didn’t include more specifics in my letter,” he said. “Partially, it’s because I wasn’t standing there listening to it.”

Maloof said his note to parents was an attempt to be proactive, instead of reactive.

“It wasn’t something I got a deluge of complaints about, but it’s something I like to get in front of,” he said. Maloof added that the Decatur Book Festival representatives “reacted appropriately and quickly” when school officials contacted them about it.

We also received an email sent to Maloof by Diane Capriola, children and teen program manager for the Book Festival. In the email, she apologized for the incident.

“The DBF would never condone this type of behavior from a visiting school author, nor would it ever occur to us to expect it,” she wrote. “Ms. Myracle’s disregard for appropriateness and lack of restraint is incredibly disappointing to me as the coordinator of these events and also on a personal level, as the mother of three teenagers.”

Here are the emails in question. The names of the teachers involved have been redacted because they didn’t pick the speakers and have no control over what was said. The email addresses of Book Festival representatives have also been redacted:



About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

  • Catie

    I understand the school wanting to be extra cautious about this, but I personally don’t see the big deal. As if teenage girls don’t queef or have any idea what anal sex is? Give me a break. They probably hear much more explicit (and uninformed) things in the school hallways.

    Of course it’s best to err on the side of caution when you’re talking about sex to other people’s kids, but I’m pretty sure these kids will be just fine.

    • just me

      I might agree with you for Juniors and Seniors, but this was a group of 9th graders at the very beginning of the school year.

      • underscorex

        Then it’s better to get ahead of the issue, obviously!

  • Andrew

    Breaking: YA Author Speaks to 14 Year Olds in Manner Similar to How 14 Year Olds Speak.

  • Sheila Broflovski

    I blame Canada.

  • Robert Butera

    I am not sure I would call writing a letter like that getting “in front of” the issue. If I had received that letter, I would have immediately wanted to know a lot more, not accept a vague explanation about a vaguely explained incident. I expect the letter (and this article – those pesky press!) raised more parental curiosity as opposed to quelling the potentially irate.

    I am not sure what I would write if I were in his shoes. Probably nothing. Some issues are not worth getting in front of.

    Class exercise. Put yourself in Mr. Maloof’s shoes. You suspect some parents may be upset. What do you write, and to whom? If at all?

  • william whitley

    Relatively crass body functions may be what 9th graders talk about, but it would get you fired fired from a lot of jobs. It is not what a professional should model for impressionable kids. Sounds like she was going for shock value rather than educating the kids.

    • CindyB

      True, however her goal as an author is to gain readership – even if these kids aren’t reading her book, they’ll remember her name, her face. To top it all off, all the negative outside attention regarding “what the author said” only causes more chatter, more attention being spent on her name – and THAT is what marketing & selling your product is about. Like a boss.

      Kids/teens, crave to be spoken to in a manner they can relate – the fact that it’s being made an issue is silliness.

  • dwarf

    Anyone who wishes to defend this flake should ask themselves if they would do the same if the author were male.

  • Graybeard

    I’m glad she proved her point. Fetch me my fainting couch, a woman talked about queefing to 14 year olds!

  • OriginalDecatur

    Meh. Lighten up folks, it’s just the human condition. God forbid teenagers discover that their bodies and fellow human beings do and say some weird stuff. I can hear the 9th grade eyes rolling over all the grown-ups’ hand-wringing.

  • underscorex

    Yeah, if you don’t think 14 year olds are talking and thinking about this stuff, you are out of your mind. The absolute worst case scenario is that you got this stuff into their heads maaaaaybe two years earlier than their peers would have.

    But, you know, I don’t want my precious innocent baby to hear about the dirty parts of their filthy body. Plug it up Carrie White, etc.

  • Chris Billingsley

    I found this on the Daily Beast. Maybe from the author. Not sure but if so, it says a lot. On her teens reading, “As a mom, I want my kids to read any fucking book they want! I want them to read.”
    Adolf is smiling!

  • blackbird13

    Always interesting to me that some people get upset over kids in school hearing about the reality of being a sexual human being, a reality they will have to deal with, but are all for them hearing about made-up supernatural beings and the made-up stories a handful of men wrote about them. The two groups don’t always intersect, but I bet it’s more often than not.

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