'Protect our children': Parents ask West Linn-Wilsonville School District to remove explicit books from shelves
This story has been updated from its original version.
As conversations of book bans have spread across the nation, parents in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District joined the rallying cry at a board meeting Monday, Nov. 14.
During public comment, parents read aloud what they deemed explicit material featured in several books in school libraries across West Linn and Wilsonville. Parents read passages that featured topics including swear words, oral sex, gender identity, masturbation and rape, among others.
"This is porn, and not education or even literacy," said a parent.
The list of books parents advocated for removing from library shelves included "Me, Earl and the Dying Girl" by Jesse Andrews, "Heartstopper" by Alice Oseman, "Crank" by Ellen Hopkins and "Milk and Honey" and "The Sun and Her Flowers" by Rupi Kur.
Some parents asked the school district to let parents handle how, where and when their children are exposed to these topics.
Another parent pleaded with the district to "protect our children."
The district also uses Common Sense Media as a reference in its selection process. The organization reviews and provides ratings for literature and media based on their suitability for children of different ages. In addition, the district receives guidance from the Oregon Department of Education. During a presentation earlier in the evening, Superintendent Kathy Ludwig said that if there is a concern with material in a book at a specific school, the district librarian team works with parents and students on resolutions.
"You have a responsibility to your students to protect and safeguard our children. Exposing them to obscene and sexually explicit pornographic materials is harmful to the psyche and sacrificing their innocence. You are responsible for advocating for students' education. Everything else is the responsibility of the parents, and it's time you stop crossing that boundary," a parent said.
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