RSU 40 votes to keep controversial book

Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 12:04 AM EDT
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WALDOBORO, Maine (WABI) - The RSU 40 school board, serving Waldoboro, Warren, Union, Friendship and Washington, voted 11-5 Thursday to keep a controversial book in its library.

The book in question is called “Gender Queer: A Memoir.”

It’s a graphic novel that looks at gender identity through the author’s own experiences growing up into adulthood.

School officials said there are two copies of the book at the Medomak Valley High School library, and at the time of the citizen’s challenge last October, it had only been checked out once.

The school determined the book should remain, a decision that was appealed in June.

Thursday’s meeting lasted four hours before reaching another decision to keep the book.

Those looking to remove it say it contains graphic depictions of sexual content not suitable for schools.

Others said those images are a small section of a book that provides a voice for students who identify as LGBTQ.

Some of the parent commentary from both sides:

”You choose to keep child porn present in our school library rather than protecting our children you represent.”

“It does not support the overall goal of education.”

“The book is about one person’s experience with gender identity. It is not (inaudible) or pedophilia. It is not being assigned to students. It is not being used as instructional material.”

“They’re struggling with their feelings and this book could help them. I beg you do not take this book away from our kids.”

Earlier this month, MSAD 6 in Standish also voted to keep “Gender Queer” in the library at Bonny Eagle High School.