Illinois students rally to defend LGBTQ book as school board hears objections over its content

The increasingly heated debate over the presence of certain books in school libraries was aired at an Illinois school board meeting this week.

After two objections were made to the presence of “젠더 퀴어” in the library in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, residents and students showed up Monday night to voice their opinions on the book by Maia Kobabe.
Some attendees held up signs sayingNo Pornand posters showing graphic illustrations from the coming-of-age memoir about gender and sexuality, while several students and parents spoke in defense of the book, saying it should be available in the libraryand that nobody was forced to read it.
      “젠더 퀴어” has become a recent target of some politicians and community members. 이번달 초, 텍사스 주지사. Gregg Abbott called on the state’s school boards to remove books he described as “춘화” after at least two state lawmakers asked officials to investigate books in schools — 포함 “Gender Queer.
        Downers Grove student Josiah Poynter, an 18-year-old senior, said the book should be included in the school library because inclusion was important to young people. “Inclusion brings an opportunity to grow in a safe environment and brings comfort to people who feel unloved and cast out,” he told the Community High School District 99’s board meeting.
          Poynter said that while the book may raise questions that may not always be comfortable, it’s important to understand the experiences of the LGBTQ community.
          He added that students have been given books likeMontana 1948,which includes graphic rape scenes.
          Junior Julia Hanson said that while parts of “젠더 퀴어” were uncomfortable to read, she was expecting that. “Nothing in this book was new to me,” 그녀가 말했다.
          We have already been stripped of our innocence completely and one copy of the book in our library makes no difference to that,” Hanson said.
          “아무튼, most kids have never checked out a book from our library,” she added to laughter from some of the attendees.
          Lauren Pierret, a 17-year-old senior, said she was not aware of the book until last week.
          This isn’t being forced upon your kids, but it gives kids who would be interested in this story a choice to read it,” Pierret said. She also referenced other books at the library like “시녀의 이야기” 과 “Angela’s Ashesthat include sex scenes but are not facing the same criticism in the district.
          Why are these books not being censored?,” 그녀가 물었다. “Let’s not present getting rid of ‘Gender Queeras censoring our children from sex. It’s homophobia.
          Jim Devlin, a resident who called for the book’s removal, said that the pictures in the book had no educational purpose. “This is pornography, plain and simple. And it does not belong in our schools,” 그는 말했다.
          Resident Terry Newsome said the book was achild pornographic sketchbookthat was totally unacceptable.
          What you are doing to our children in the name of politics is criminal,” 그는 말했다, calling for more focus on resources towards children’s education including reading, writing and math.
          Ahead of the public comments about “젠더 퀴어,” district superintendent Hank Thiele said it meets the criteria for inclusion in the library. “This is an optional book and not part of any course or required reading,” 그는 성명에서 말했다.
          As for the objections, Thiele told CNN that the book would remain in circulationwhile we work through the process to determine if the title should remain in our libraries.
          지난 달, “젠더 퀴어” was singled out by a Texas Republican lawmaker who called on the state’s Attorney General to investigate a list of LGBTQ books in schools to determine if the books give students access to pornography.
          This book touches on subjects that are not appropriate for school libraries and may even be criminal for its representation of minors participating in sexual activities,” Jeff Cason said in a statement in October.
          In response to certain LGBTQ books being censored, Kobabe told CNN, “I hope that all of this will really galvanize, librarians, and parents and students who are against censorship.
            Kobabe also expressed appreciation for high school students attending board meetings in support of the book and becoming politically active.
            Some school districts in Texas, like the Canutillo Independent School District, have temporarily removed the book from school libraries while the book is under review.

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