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The Ankeny School District announced late last month the book “Gender Queer” would be removed from district collections. “Gender Queer” is one of a few books challenged by parents due to inappropriate and obscene content.

If you haven’t seen the photos from the book, you can view them here. However, be forewarned the pictures are obscene and not intended to be viewed by minors — ironically.

“After careful and thoughtful review and discussion of this title in its entirety, the committee decided to remove the book from all collections,” the district wrote on its website. “The recommendation comes after review and discussion of several selection criteria.”

The statement from the district claims “Gender Queer” is “in no way pornographic,” but notes the “explicit visual and graphic nature of the graphic novel overshadowed the message to the reader, thus reducing the literary value as a whole.”

“The graphic images are already provided for the reader by the author and may not match a student’s personal maturity level,” the statement said. “Additionally, the images are impossible to skip for self-moderation.”

The district did decide to keep other titles such as “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” “Me, Earl and the Dying Girl” and “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” on the shelves.

“All Boys Aren’t Blue” will be retained in collections at the 10-12 grade level while the other two titles remain at the 8-12 level.

In defending “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” the committee said while the parts objected to are “explicit,” they do not reach the level of obscenity as defined in Iowa Code according to the committee.

“Furthermore, the objectionable part(s) comprise less than 5 percent of the total work,” the committee said.

The committee said “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” “meets every single criteria of the selection policy for inclusion in the public school library.”

Author: Jacob Hall


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