Another district in Keller, a city in Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, removed Kobabe’s book after receiving complaints that it contained “inappropriate images.”
“Illustrations of this sort should never be available in the school environment. Ensuring our curricular materials are appropriate for students is a priority for Keller ISD. We are changing the process we use to review and approve books and related materials to prevent future incidents,” the district said in a statement shared with CNN.
In Iowa last week, the Waukee Community School District removed “ジェンダークィア,” and two other LGBTQ books from the Northwest High School library after a community member read sexual excerpts from the books during an October 25 取締役会, the school district’s spokesperson, Amy Varcoe, told CNN over email.
“ジェンダークィア,” a coming-of-age memoir about gender and sexuality, 解放された 2.5 数年前, and its author Maia Kobabe, only found out it was being challenged in schools this September.
“The thing that alerted me was being tagged in a short Instagram video of one of the school board meetings from Fairfax County, バージニア,” Kobabe told CNN.
それ以来, Kobabe has found out that “ジェンダークィア” has been banned or challenged from school libraries in at least seven states. 。
“The challenges are happening so fast now I can hardly even keep up with them,” Kobabe said.
Kobabe wants people who are calling “ジェンダークィア” pornography to read the whole book.
“Read the whole thing and judge for yourself, don’t just go based on the one or two tiny clips you’ve seen on social media,” Kobabe said.
Kobabe said libraries offer a safe space for someone trying to find out about themselves, especially if it’s a topic they don’t feel comfortable about.
The move to ban LGBTQ-related books from school libraries could push teens to the internet to find out about their identity, something Kobabe warns is dangerous.
“I know we have the internet, but the internet is absolutely rife with misinformation,” Kobabe said. “And I think there’s a danger if you Google some topics about queerness, that you will land on sites that either are misinformation or coming from a really negative point of view, or it will send you straight to pornography, unfortunately.”
Deborah Caldwell-Stone, head of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom, told CNN that this year, and the last couple of months in particular, have seen a real increase across the country in challenges to books written by minority and LGBTQ authors.
“In September of 2021, we saw a 60% increase in challenges year to year from the previous year,” 彼女は言いました.
The ALA is observing a growing number of challenges to materials that are either written by minority or LGBTQ authors, or books that reflect experiences of marginalized groups, 彼女は言いました.
The ALA relies on voluntary reporting and media reports as its source of data, Caldwell-Stone explained.
Caldwell-Stone said another trend they’ve noticed is how social media has amplified challenges to a particular title, especially graphic novels that deal with the LBGTQ experience.
“It goes viral, for lack of a better phrase, and we have actually seen several reports come in that echo the same language and challenges in another part of the country, clearly derived from social media, or viral videos,” 彼女は言いました.
“And it’s a real question whether the individuals have actually read the book or are just accepting what they’re hearing on social media,” 彼女は付け加えた.