EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Canutillo Independent School District says the book called “Gender Queer” is once again in the library at Canutillo High School after being put on hold while under review after it was challenged.
A committee was put together to vote on the book that concerned parents and community members calling it “pornographic” and the committee approved the book stay in the library 8-1.
The district sent KTSM the following statement reading in part.
“After a thorough review by a reconsideration committee made up of parents, teachers, instructional staff, and librarians; a decision was made 8 – 1 to keep the book “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maria Kobabe in circulation at the Canutillo High School library.”Canutillo Independent School District
Despite the vote, concerned parents and community members came to Tuesday night’s Canutillo School Board meeting with signs that had the images in the book that they call “pornographic” printed on them.
Numerous parents and community members spoke during the public comment portion of the School Board meeting.
“It displays explicit sexual scenes which are pornography,” said Lucy Hernandez who introduced herself as a parent. “This is not about a gender issue this is about pornography.”
“I as a parent and grandparent do not want that standard,” said Ray Baca an El Paso Republican Party Chairman who came to the meeting.
“I have asked three times for this to be on the agenda and I have been talked to the hand as well,” said Searls. “I cannot get three board members to put an agenda item on, I am being stifled, I am not being heard.
Following the comments, people in the crowd stood up and repeatedly said “put it on the agenda”. Before the meeting was called for executive session.
The author of the book, Maia Kobabe wrote an opinion piece that was published in the Washington Post titled “Schools are banning my book. But queer kids need queer stories.”
The Vice President for the El Paso Young Democrats, Wesley Lawrence, tells KTSM 9 News he read the book “Gender Queer”.
“I thought it was a book that very few could understand. Being a member of the LGBTQI community myself I know it’s hard for young people to come out to their family, it’s a scary situation and I think that this book allows people to understand that it’s just not their situation, everyone in the community has the same situation where it’s scary…”