Urbandale school committee votes to keep 5 controversial books in library

Five books labeled inappropriate by some parents will stay on school shelves in Urbandale. A school committee voted to keep the books on Monday.
Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 7:48 AM CST
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URBANDALE, Iowa (KCCI) - Five books labeled “inappropriate” by some parents will stay on school shelves in Urbandale.

KCCI reports a school committee voted in favor of keeping the books on Monday.

A parent filed a complaint about the book “Hey, Kiddo,” that is a memoir about a child dealing with addiction in his family.

But other books are also on the chopping block, including “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” “Gender Queer,” “Lawn Boy,” and “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.”

They deal with obscenities, violence, sexual content, and gender identify.

At the committee’s Monday night meeting, members heard from both sides of the argument - including the parent who filed the original complaint.

He pointed to the language in the books, but teachers cited academic value.

“Is this the best we can do? It is not your role to sexualize our kids,” Dennis Murphy, a parent in the district, said. “It’s not your role to convince them that porn helps them with their self identity. It’s your role to teach.”

The committee voted on each book, individually.

Educators also looked at whether the books properly fit the current school criteria for teaching.

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