A nationwide debate concerning parental rights over classroom content reached the Bonny Eagle School District Board of Directors last Tuesday. The board voted 11-1 not to ban “It’s Perfectly Normal,” a book about sex education. While prohibiting controversial books is nothing new in this country, many supporters of its inclusion in the school curriculum are concerned that backlash stems from pages including information on sex within the LGBTQ community.
Those in favor of the book emphasize its value to LGBTQ children and teenagers, who they assert have a right to sex education that is relevant to them. They reason that the book is educational and illustrations appropriate, given it was written to demystify sex. Parents opposed to the text argue that drawn depictions of full nudity are the central issue, with information on LGBTQ sex being a secondary concern.
Flames over “It’s Perfectly Normal” were tamed Tuesday, but the fire is far from over. Another public hearing on September 19th will vote on a second novel only available in the high school, “Gender Queer: A Memoir.” The book addresses societal pressures and inner conflicts faced by the LGBTQ community. Other books under debate, such as Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” and George M. Johnson’s “All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto,” also discuss sexual orientation, race, and gender discrimination.
Although Tuesday’s vote on “It’s Perfectly Normal” suggests “Gender Queer: A Memoir” will remain on library shelves, only time will tell if both will remain available to Bonny Eagle students.
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Categories: Local Politics