By Reagan Reese
Through 2022, parents across the country have fought to have books deemed “age inappropriate” and “pornographic” removed from schools.
Across 5,000 schools, more than 1,600 book titles were removed in the 2021-2022 school year, according to NBC News. The books most commonly removed from schools, including “Gender Queer: A Memoir” and “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” contain images of masturbation and explicit descriptions of sexual encounters.
“Parents across the country have organically risen to fight the obviously age-inappropriate material that has crept into public schools,” Brooke Stephens, a member of Utah Parents United, a group focused on parental rights in education, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Once they see it, they know it’s wrong and they won’t give up until it’s gone.”
“Gender Queer” the most challenged book in schools, is about a character with “e/em/eir” pronouns navigating being queer. The book contains cartoon images of a boy masturbating and performing oral sex on another man.
“He reached his hand down and pulled out my dick,” “All Boys Aren’t Blue” states. “He quickly went to giving me head. I just sat back and enjoyed it as I could tell he was, too.”
School districts in Missouri have removed more than 300 books from school libraries to follow a state law that prohibits sexually explicit content from the classroom, according Education Week. In Utah, about 280 book complaints were filed in nine of the state’s 41 school districts since May.
Alpine School District, Utah’s largest school district, removed 52 books for “inappropriate content” including “Gender Queer” and “All Boys Aren’t Blue.”
Other books removed from school districts for their sexually explicit content included “This Book Is Gay,” a book that has been described as a “how to” guide for the LGBTQ community. The book offers tips on anal sex, hand jobs and suggests dating apps to find LGBTQ partners.
“A GOOD HANDIE is all about the wrist action. Rub the head of his cock back and forth with your hand,” “This Book Is Gay” stated. “Try different speeds and pressures until he responds positively.”
Books such as “Gender Queer” are being removed because they are being deemed obscene, which is different from being considered “sexually explicit,” PEN America, an organization working to keep books in schools, stated on their website.
“The term ‘obscenity’ is being stretched in unrecognizable ways because the concept itself is widely accepted as grounds for limiting access to content,” PEN America stated. “But many of the materials now being removed under the guise of obscenity bear no relation to the sexually explicit, deliberately evocative content that the term has historically connoted.”
“We not only applaud the schools that have taken their time to look at these books and have decided to remove them from their media center shelves because they contain no literary value and are obscene in nature; but we also agree that for those books that are not being completely removed, control is given to the parents,” Xiomara Castro, a chapter leader of No Left Turn In Education, a group focused on parental rights in education, told the DCNF. “Let the parents decide what their kids can and cannot read.”
Alpine School District and PEN America did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.