Six controversial books will remain in Rockwood School District libraries

Missouri

Courtesy of the Rockwood School Board

EUREKA, Mo. – Six books that have been challenged by Rockwood School District parents for having explicit content are staying put in high school libraries.

A review committee decided to retain without restriction “All Boys Aren’t Blue” by George M. Johnson, “Crank” by Ellen Hopkins, “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe, “Looking for Alaska” by John Green, “The Haters” by Jesse Andrews, Michael Crouch, et al., and “Where I End and You Begin” by Preston Norton.

The findings were presented during a Dec. 16 board meeting by Dr. Shelley Willott, assistant superintendent of learning and support services. She noted that retained books are only found in high school libraries.

The review committee is comprised of two teachers, two librarians, a curriculum coordinator, a school board member, four parents, and two high school students.

During a committee meeting, the person who challenged the book shares their concerns with the committee and then is dismissed. The review committee then discusses the school district’s library policy, as well as the value of the book compared to the concerns, followed by a recommendation, according to Willott.

“I think it’s important to point out that the reason that we have the challenger leave after the conversation starts is that we want to allow the committee to have authentic conversation without interruption and without fear of their conversation ending up on social media,” Willott said.

“We did have an instance where we did have a challenger take pictures of the committee in one of our sessions, so there was some concern from them.”

The school district has three other books going through a review process, including “This One Summer” by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, “Heroine” by Mindy McGinnis, and “The Breakaways” by Cathy G. Johnson.

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