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(LifeSiteNews) — Two school districts in Florida and New York have attracted attention for the different ways they addressed the presence of highly sexualized LGBT books in school libraries.

Earlier this week, Lake County Schools in Florida banned a children’s book titled “And Tango Makes Three,” which tells the true story of two male penguins that appeared to be trying to mate while housed together in the Central Park Zoo. The book has sparked debate since its publication in 2005 for portraying a push to accept homosexuality under the guise of an innocent children’s story about penguins.

However, Lake County banned the book from school libraries because it “violates Florida law on teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity to kindergarten [through] third-graders,” according to Fox News. In 2022, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education Act, which prohibits the teaching of radical gender ideology to children in third grade and younger as well as requiring age-appropriate discussions of sexuality and gender for older students.

Two other books have been removed from school libraries and classrooms by the same district, also citing the parental rights bill. Similarly, Florida’s Department of Education rejected 41% of proposed math textbooks for public schools last year due to the presence of critical race theory and failing to comply with DeSantis’ newly established standards.

Meanwhile, a principal within the New York City Public School system both admitted to having a graphic LGBT book in school libraries and also refusing to remove the book, despite concerns from a parent. The book, titled “This Book is Gay,” is notorious among conservatives for its discussion of “gay sex” and practices, including detailed instructions on “how to have anal and ‘girl on girl’ sex.”

Rather than remove the book as Lake County did, Elana Elster, principal at Booker T. Washington Middle School, told a concerned parent that the book will stay in school libraries because it enables students to “expand their horizons.”

Elster wrote to a parent in an email that she has “every right to monitor what your child is reading” and that “parents have very different opinions on what is appropriate for their children.”

“When you say you are ‘at war every day,’ I am wondering if you are referring to the exposure your child is getting to people and ideas that are new and different,” Elster continued, according to Fox News. “This is a public school and the children will be continuously exposed. It doesn’t mean that they will have to agree with everything they are learning or seeing … We do have ‘This Book is Gay’ in our library catalogue, and we have no plans to remove it.”

The controversy surrounding sexually explicit content in school libraries is not a new debate. In 2022, one of the most notorious graphic LGBT books, “Gender Queer,” was restricted in a Michigan school board for its detailed description and images of “gay sex,” particularly between a man and a boy.

Loudoun County Public Schools banned the same book after backlash from parents. However, not all parental concerns on this issue have been addressed. In October, a Michigan school board meeting was shut down when parents began opposing sexually explicit books within the school system.


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