The Waukee school district removed three LGBTQ books from the Northwest High School library last week after someone requested a review of their contents, school officials say.
Driving the news: Community member Amanda McClanahan, who is not a parent in the school district, read sexually explicit excerpts from the books during Monday night's school board meeting, and condemned district leaders for having them on shelves.
- The excerpts described oral sex in detail, as well as teens losing their virginities.
The big picture: What's happening in Waukee isn't unique. There's a nationwide movement to remove the three LGBTQ books, including in Pennsylvania and Kansas, and it's falling on school board members.
- There's been a 60% increase in people challenging books, including the ones brought up in Waukee, this school year, said Deborah Caldwell-Stone of the American Library Association.
- In recent years, the majority of banned books are LGBTQ-related topics.
What they're saying: McClanahan claimed the books were allowed in under the "guise of equality and equity" that's pushed by the school board.
- "Can you tell me — does equity and inclusion also include incestuous relationships, child-adult sex and books that promote pedophilia?"
The other side: Caldwell-Stone said it's unfair to pull excerpts that put the content out of context, and that the books address coming of age and questioning sexual and gender identity.
- The books don't fit the values of every family, but they do fit the needs of some, she said.
- High school students "deserve" to see themselves reflected in the library, Caldwell-Stone added.
Of note: McClanahan brought a complaint to the board earlier this year concerning her disapproval of a book she said painted law enforcement in a negative light.
The bottom line: With less than a week until school board elections, our classrooms are the political battlegrounds and books are just one of the weapons being used.
Go deeper: Learn how Waukee got the books