Serving Franklin County, WA

Bill bars banning of LGBTQ+ books

OLYMPIA — A bill being considered in the state House of Representatives would require schools to keep alternative sexual lifestyle books on the shelves in schools.

House Bill 2331 would prevent school districts from rejecting or censoring educational materials associated with so-called “protected” sexual lifestyles.

In Washington, many schools adhere to a “model policy” for reviewing objections.

Initially, a teacher or librarian is consulted regarding a book. If a parent objects, alternative material is provided for their child.

If resolution isn’t achieved at the classroom level, the next step is the principal’s intervention. Should the matter remain unresolved, the book undergoes review by an instructional materials committee appointed by a school board.

Under the proposed bill, districts without an instructional materials committee would be required to create one, with members appointed by the school district’s chief administrative officer.

The primary sponsor of the bill, Rep. Monica Stonier, D-Vancouver, said she believes the so-called model policy is not always followed when evaluating a book.

“We cannot prepare our next generation for the local and global challenges we face if we do not teach the truth, whether it be inspiring or shameful,” she said.

Advocates Justin McKaughan, Carolyn Logue, and Sarah Logan testified in favor of the bill. They say they curate age-appropriate reading materials so children see their identities reflected in what they read. They believe the bill could shield vulnerable students and foster greater engagement in school.

How schools select books is a historically significant issue and garners considerable attention. On this bill alone, 1,143 individuals signed in to testify, with 350 in support and 788 in opposition.

The main objections to books in libraries revolve around sexual content.

Concerned parents say books like “Gender Queer,” “Flamer” and “This Book is Gay” cross the line. The books contain explicit depictions of sex acts, including those involving adults and minors.

In 2021, many schools nationwide, removed “Gender Queer” from shelves because of its pornographic content. The book included drawings of nude characters and various sexual scenarios.

Sarah Garriott, a concerned mother, said thousands of contends don’t want pornography in schools.

“Trying to slip pornography into our children’s education at a state level under the guise of trying to protect the LGBTQ community is disingenuous and should outrage and insult every caring gay adult who cares about the innocence of children,” Garriott said.


Reader Comments(0)