Marietta school board bans nearly 2 dozen ‘sexually explicit’ books

Marietta City School libraries have approximately 20,000 books. On Tuesday night, Superintendent Dr. Grant Rivera orchestrated a successful effort to remove about two dozen books from that collection because the school board categorized them as ‘sexual and inappropriate’ for the students. The vote of the board was 6-1. Dr. Rivera was quoted as saying: “I was surprised by what was in the reading center.”

As reported, the removal of these books takes place less than a month “after the school board voted to uphold the decision to ban the book titled Flamer from its high school library.” The reported content of this book is incomplete and states simply that the book “tells a story about a boy scout who is bullied for his appearance.” The novel, described as “graphic,” has also been banned in Cobb and Fulton County School Districts. Reporting indicates the opinion that “Flamer,” by Mike Curato, is an LGBTQ-themed book. The link of the theme to scouting is not disclosed.

Superintendent Rivera declared that he “didn’t need a directive to do this.” He indicated that he had failed to know that such books were in the libraries. “I didn’t know they were in our media centers.” Rivera then apologized for his ignorance: “I’m sorry to the board, I’m sorry to this community whether you agree or disagree.”

Dozens of “concerned parents and students attended the meeting.” Becky Simmons, one parent quoted by the media, stated: “There should be a set standard for what’s in our library.” Simmons then expressed her gratitude for the removal of the books by the Rivera and the school board.

Out of the 20,000 books in the district’s library system, only 23 were selected to be banned. The books on the list include the “A Court of Thorns and Roses” series by Sarah J. Maas and J.K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy.” According to the superintendent, all the selected books lacked historical, cultural, and/or any educational value.

The list of the newly banned books and photographs of their covers can be seen here. A 2-minute video covers the board’s decision and includes commentary by Dr. Grant Rivera, Marietta Schools Superintendent.

D & B Staff

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