Advertisement

Book that sparked a statewide schools review won’t return to Fort Mill SC libraries

The book was removed from circulation in high school media centers and in the district online catalog while the review process took place.
Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 6:52 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FORT MILL, S.C. (Rock Hill Herald) - The book at the heart a Fort Mill complaint on what should be allowed in schools will not return to the town’s high school libraries.

The Fort Mill School District completed its administrative review of the book, “Gender Queer: A Memoir.” On Monday the district provided the following decision:

“Following an administrative review by the Fort Mill School District, of the book Gender Queer: a Memoir by Maia Kobabe, the district determined that the book in question does not meet the standard for inclusion in our high school libraries. The district’s decision to permanently remove the book from our high school collections was based on the inclusion of visual imagery that is not age appropriate for our students.”

In a Nov. 10 letter to state education superintendent Molly Spearman, Gov. Henry McMaster asked for a statewide investigation into how what he describes as sexually explicit or obscene materials were allowed in public school libraries and electronic databases. McMaster specifically notes a parent petition in Fort Mill regarding Gender Queer.

“The book contains sexually explicit and pornographic depictions, which easily meet or exceed the statutory definition of obscenity,” McMaster wrote to Spearman.

The school district has a process for complaints to be filed. The district acknowledged there was a complaint and already had begun its review when McMaster called for the statewide investigation. The book was removed from circulation in high school media centers and in the district online catalog while the review process took place. In a statement the district noted that while it was referenced in the letter, the statewide investigation called for by the governor doesn’t specifically target the Fort Mill district.

At a school board meeting earlier this month a parent addressed the board with concerns about the book. Ellen Abramo also mentioned two other books of concern, “Lawn Boy: A Novel” by Jonathan Evison and “All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto” by George M. Johnson.

Abramo told the board she isn’t targeting material about gender issues specifically.

“The issue with these books is their explicit content and images,” she said.

Gender Queer is an autobiography in which Kobabe talks about growing up being nonbinary.

Copyright 2021 Rock Hill Herald. All rights reserved.