Waukee Community School District removed copies of “Gender Queer” from its libraries on Friday. Superintendent Brad Buck said he agreed with the recommendation to keep “All Boys Aren’t Blue” as well as “Lawn Boy,” but he decided to remove “Gender Queer.”
Buck said he believes the format of “Gender Queer” — a graphic novel — causes concern. The book contains pictures that Buck said are beyond the scope of what might be reasonably expected to be observed in a school library.
“More specifically, when reading a book that is words only, the images that come to mind are at the maturity level of the reader,” Buck said. “In this book, there are pictures and they may be at a level that is beyond the maturity level of the reader. And, different from written words, any person could pick up this book and come across the pictures as opposed to flipping through a book that is all words.”
“Gender Queer” has been flagged by Google for images that contain adult sexual content. Facebook said images from the book violate community standards on sexual activity.
A bill in the Iowa Senate addressing obscene materials and hard-core pornography in Iowa school libraries advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote.
If you have not yet seen the images contained in “Gender Queer,” some are highlighted here.