Books on Racism and Sexual Assault are back on Flagler school shelves; LGBTQ memories left behind

Flagler Schools Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt has returned three controversial books to the library shelves, while a fourth book awaits further examination.

“The hate you give” and “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and” You, “books on racism and activism, and” Speak, “a young adult novel focusing on sexual assault, were allowed to return to schools after a review by the Flagler District Media Review Committee.

“Not All Boys Are Blue,” a personal essay series on queer and black identity, has been left out pending a new process being developed by the school district to approve the sensitive media available to students.

The four books were reported by Jill Woolbright, a member of the District 1 School Board, who also filed a criminal complaint with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office last month, alleging that the presence of five copies of “All the Boys are not blue “in school libraries was a crime. because of the sexual content in the book, which she likened to pornography.

In “Not All Boys Are Blue,” author George M. Johnson recounts his childhood as a black gay man. The book became a bestseller when it was released last year and was named one of the best titles of 2020 by Amazon’s book publishers, CNN reported.

The sheriff’s office determined that the book’s presence – and the ability for minors to access it – did not constitute a crime. But the question has led to a moving censorship debate, protests at school board meetings and unwelcome headlines across the country.

Woolbright did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

In a press release Tuesday morning, Mittelstadt said Woolbright had an opportunity to challenge its ruling, which would take the case to the five-member school board.

Mittelstadt said the district is developing a new material review process for sensitive topics that will include parents.

“I believe in a procedure to give our parents the opportunity to participate in this process,” she said. “I think it’s extremely important until we have the procedure in place that this particular book should be removed from our students’ availability for access.”

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