Books temporarily removed from Waukee Northwest High School after complaint at school board meeting – Local 5 – weareiowa.com

WAUKEE, Iowa — Books found in the Waukee Northwest High School library are igniting controversy after a woman brought up the issue during a school board meeting Monday.
Amanda McClanahan believes the nature of the books are inappropriate and have no place in the high school’s library. 
“I’m here for books that are currently in the Northwest High School library and available for children as young as 14 to check out,” McClanahan said during Monday’s meeting.  
She proceeded to read excerpts from the books containing graphic depictions of incestual encounters between and man and a boy. She also showed illustrations from one of the books portraying nudity and sexual acts.
The books include “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” “Lawn Boy” and “Gender Queer.” 
For now, the school district has taken the books off the shelf. District leaders are reviewing them to determine whether to permanently remove them.
In a statement to Local 5, the district said: “A process of review, per Board policy, will determine if each or any of these titles are returned to the library shelves. Specifically, upon the conclusion 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 ACLU of Iowa expressed some concern over the impact of removing books from shelves.
“A small group of people or one person can’t decide what content everybody else, accesses, and that I think a lot of times parents and community members are extremely uncomfortable with teenagers getting information about sex or hat or seeing graphic descriptions of sex,” the organization said.
The Iowa Library Association believes it is important to take the whole book into account when making these kind of decisions.
“It’s important to look at work as a whole as opposed to a short excerpt, because any one small portion of a book might be taken out of context and seem to mean one thing when it means another,” said Amanda Vasquez, the chair of the association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee.
Waukee Community School District wants parents who may have similar issues to know there is a process in place for bring these problems to their attention.
“Typically that process is intended and expected to begin with those individuals best situated to address the concern(s) being raised at the school or classroom level,” the district said in an email.
In Waukee, the school library’s inventory is available online and can be used as a resource for parents looking to better understand the material available to their kids.
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