TAMPA, Florida (LifeSiteNews) — A Florida school board on Tuesday voted to remove an explicit LGBT book from all public middle school libraries in the area.
“This Book is Gay,” a 2015 book written by Juno Dawson and aimed at kids in eighth through twelfth grades, was first published in 2015. A best-seller, the book contains graphic descriptions and instructions concerning homosexual acts.
The Hillsborough County School Board voted to cull the book from its public middle schools in a special meeting on Tuesday, the Hill reported. The meeting came after a parent filed a complaint regarding the book’s presence in the school library of Pierce Middle School in Tampa.
A committee at Pierce Middle School voted to keep the book following a review, a decision affirmed by a district committee following an appeal. Another appeal, however, led to Tuesday’s meeting, resulting in a 4–3 vote to pull the books from the library shelves.
Pushing back against the school board’s decision, library media specialist Kathleen Daniels said the move was “[v]ery upsetting, and very scary.”
“This, that’s a very scary precedent for our future of books,” she said, according to the Hill.
However, School Board Member Stacy Hahn, who represents District 2, said it’s the presentation of graphic sexual content for kids that’s “upsetting.”
“For us to have a book is so sexually explicit in the hands of children, minors, that is what is upsetting and concerning to me,” she said.
Hillsborough County’s decision to remove the explicit text comes as the state of Florida, under the leadership of the Sunshine State’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, has cracked down on sexually explicit content in schools and school libraries, including materials that teach children about homosexuality and transgenderism.
DeSantis signed the much-maligned “Parental Rights in Education” act last year, prohibiting sexual and gender-ideology content in schools for students in kindergarten through third grade. Any such content for older children must be “age appropriate.”
The Florida governor has earned significant support from conservatives for the effort, while opponents, in particular California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, have accused him of waging a “totalitarian” assault on freedom of speech.
Last week, Florida’s Department of Education moved to expand the “Parental Rights in Education” bill to include grades 4–12.