A school board meeting took a seriously strange turn when a mother got up to the podium and started ranting about a book in a school library that contains content that is explicit and mentions anal sex. You can check out her speech here, but - be warned - it contains some explicit themes.
The meeting took place in Austin, Texas, and was originally supposed to be about Covid-19, but Kara Bell stood up and completely hi-jacked proceedings to talk about the young adult book 'Out of Darkness'.
She read out an excerpt from the book, which does sound pretty adult for kids in middle school, before telling the assembled school board representatives: "I do not want my children to learn about anal sex in middle school.
"I've never had anal sex. I don't want to have anal sex.
"I don't want my kids having anal sex. I want you to start focusing on education and not public health."
The book was written by Ashley Hope Perez and, according to a synopsis, it 'chronicles a love affair between an African American boy and a Mexican American girl against the backdrop of a horrific 1937 explosion in East Texas, which killed nearly 300 schoolchildren and teachers.'
The Lake Travis Independent School District has since confirmed that Bell got her wish in the end, and the book has now been pulled from the libraries of two middle schools.
A spokesperson for the district told local news outlet KXAN: "A district possesses significant discretion to determine the content of its school libraries.
"A district must, however, exercise its discretion in a manner consistent with the First Amendment."
They added: "A district shall not remove materials from a library for the purpose of denying students access to ideas with which the district disagrees.
"A district may remove materials, because they are pervasively vulgar or based solely upon the educational suitability of the books in question."
After the publication of the book, Hope Perez spoke about her process in writing the book.
She said: "I hope they [readers] are kind of hungry for stories from people on the margins of history.
"That's really what I was trying to do with 'Out of Darkness' in the way I approached the explosion. I knew a lot of the historical details, but I was also trying to tell stories that reflect the marginal experiences by the [African American and Mexican American] characters."
Well, the children at Hudson Bend and Bee Cave middle schools certainly won't be hearing those stories.
At least, not on school property, anyway.
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