A review committee consisting of teachers, librarians, and Department of Instruction personnel has recommended that the school district remove certain controversial books with sexually explicit content from school libraries after outrage from parents.
The committee recommended that “Monday’s Not Coming” by Tiffany D. Jackson be removed from middle school shelves, but should remain available for high school students to read. The title is currently available in six middle school libraries across the district.
Jackson’s work is a young adult novel about a middle schooler confronted with themes of systemic racism as her best friend goes missing.
The committee also recommended that “#MurderTrending” by Gretchen McNeil should remain in both middle and high schools.
#MurderTrending is a horror novel about a teen who is framed for the murder of her stepsister, and is sentenced to vie for her survival on an island full of killers.
At a school board meeting in May, parents read aloud from both books and shared their disapproval of the sexually suggestive content.
“If this is inappropriate for me to read to you, this is inappropriate for our children,” said parent and activist Patti Menders during the meeting. “Please get these dirty books out of our schools.”
School Board Policy 5045 allows parents to submit proposals for materials to be reviewed. Parents can appeal a school’s decision to keep books through a process with the School Board. The superintendent appoints a committee, which is given 30 days from the original complaint to reach a conclusion.