BURLINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — A book that has been embattled across numerous states will no longer be available in a local high school library.
According to representatives from the Alamance Burlington School System, Dr. Dain Butler made the decision to remove “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe from the library at Western Alamance High School.
A group identifying themselves at the FACTS Task Force 2.0 had previously complained about the book, but the school system says this was purely a decision of the superintendent and that prior complaints weren’t a factor.
“Gender Queer: A Memoir” is about the author’s journey coming out as nonbinary and asexual, often cited as a good resource for young people struggling with gender or sexuality, or family trying to understand them. The novel deals with a wide range of topics from coming out to pap smears to trauma, and does have sexual content.
“This book is a potential disruption to our learning environment. Sexual content is a large part of this book and it runs counter to what is appropriate in a school setting. It specifically contains illustrations that are pornographic in nature. Additionally, sexual themes are pervasive throughout the book,” Butler said.
Any parent that has concerns about books available in their child’s library has a way to report those books to the school system.
“Going forward I’d like to see us have a group of educators, families, and community members come together to review books that may be considered controversial prior to being placed on the shelves in our schools,” Butler added. “This is not about banning LGBTQ+ books. This particular book has explicit images. I’m not about pulling books for the sake of pulling them; however, I have a primary responsibility to protect the safety and wellbeing of students.”
Mamie Brooks of FACTS Task Force 2.0 writes in a statement that “the entire FACTS Task Force 2.0 Team sincerely thanks Dr. Dain Butler for removing Gender Queer: A Memoir from Western Alamance High School. This shows his dedication and passion to ensure fair education for all our children.”