A Central Bucks School District committee has determined two books violate its library policy and the titles have been removed from school libraries, the district recently confirmed.
The books, “This Book is Gay,” by Juno Dawson, and “Gender Queer,” by Maia Kobabe, have been removed, according to the district’s policy, which calls for removal within 24 hours of notification. “This Book is Gay” was taken from one of the district’s middle schools and “Gender Queer” was removed from a high school. No reason was given.
The district provided the following statement:
“Book review committees were convened to reconsider five library books, including “Beyond Magenta” by Susan Kuklin, “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe, “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison, “Me, Earl and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews, and “This Book is Gay” by Juno Dawson.
“Educator-led review committees included teachers, librarians, and administrators. Committees determined that two of these books, “Gender Queer” and “This Book is Gay,” should not remain in the library. As outlined by the policy guidelines, our school librarians will now work to select two books on the same subject matter to replace each of these books on shelves for students.”
Last July, in a 6-3 vote, the school board passed a controversial library policy that established a committee of the “superintendent’s designees,” to review books that are challenged by parents or others and call for their removal if it finds them “age-inappropriate” or containing “sexualized content.”
The policy drew harsh criticism from many teachers, parents and librarians who said it amounted to a book ban that targeted LGBTQ+ students and other marginalized people. Some supported the change, saying the policy has been misunderstood and parents need a pathway to challenge books they don’t believe should be in a school library.
Each of the removed books explores gender identity. Both are available at the Doylestown Bookshop and the Doylestown branch of the Bucks County Library.