Iowa School Reviews ‘Gender Queer’, Other LGBT Concerns Books


The Waukee School District removed a book from its library shelves after a parent complained that the books exposed their students to inappropriate content.

At a Waukee school board meeting on Monday, parent Amber McClanahan read passages from several books that she said were available at the Northwest High School library. The excerpts, chosen from “All Boys Are Not Blue,” “Lawn Boy,” and “Gender Queer,” contained written and visual graphic representations of sex acts between boys and, in one case, relatives.

“This,” McClanahan said, showing a set of graphic images, “is also in the book ‘Gender Queer’ at Northwest High School, available for 14-year-olds to check out and read.”

Parent Courtney Collier also raised concerns about books containing same-sex relationships at the October 11 council meeting. She said her 10-year-old told her that a book about a boy finding out he was gay was brought up as a suggested reading during a library class.

“This is a topic that we explicitly said at school that we don’t want to discuss with our children and, as parents, I think it’s our right,” she said. “… I didn’t know that you as a district could go above us and expose our kids to sexual orientation content and things like that that we said we didn’t want to do. part of their education in Waukee schools. “

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In a statement, the district said the books are under review and are currently not available in school libraries.

“A review process, in accordance with board policy, will determine whether each or any of these titles is returned to library shelves,” the statement said. “More specifically, at the end of the review of each title, a recommendation will be made to the Superintendent as to the future availability of these books in school libraries.

The statement recognizes that the content of classroom and library materials is sometimes called into question, and the process for requesting reviews of books or other materials is generally expected to begin at the school or classroom level.

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In Urbandale, parent Dennis Murphy said he found the book “Hey, Kiddo” in his son’s backpack. The book is about a boy who lives with his grandparents and seeks to uncover the truth about his family.

“I cannot write what I saw, but I found 33 different pages containing sexual and / or libelous / vulgar content which, if uttered at home, would be grounds for immediate discipline,” said Murphy said in an email.

“Gender Queer” has also been withdrawn from some school libraries in Texas and Virginia and has been the subject of recent debate in school boards in states such as Illinois, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

Sarah LeBlanc covers the western suburbs for the Registry. Contact her at 515-284-8161 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @sarahkayleblanc.



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