Canyons School District pulls books after complaints of ‘sexually explicit’ material

SANDY, Utah – The Canyons School District confirmed that it has withdrawn certain books from high school libraries following complaints from parents that they contain sexually explicit material.

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District officials say no decision has been made to permanently ban any of the titles in question; However, as part of the review process, all books have been temporarily removed from the library shelves at Alta, Brighton, Corner Canyon and Jordan High Schools.

The review began when a parent expressed concern in an email over the books.

At a recent meeting of the Canyons Board of Education, another parent read a sexually explicit passage from one of the books, asking why the title was found in the high school library.

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Parents demanding action have no children in the schools where the books were placed, giving them no right to officially challenge the titles. As of Thursday, there is no challenge received by the district and there are no records of previous book challenges.

Books reviewed for their content are as follows:

  • In addition to Magenta by Susan Kuklin
  • It blew eye by Toni Morrison
  • Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
  • Lawn boy by Jonathan Evison
  • L8R G8R by Lauren Myracle
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Monday is not coming by Tiffany Jackson
  • The opposite of Innocent by Sonya Sones
  • Out of the darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

The district seeks to clarify the policy regarding the criteria to be used by school staff to “weed” titles from libraries. At the moment, the individual school librarians are left to decide for themselves which books should be included in a collection.

Although no formal challenges have been forthcoming, the district has previously received other complaints, some of which were sent to the Board of Education and the Utah State Office of Education.

Two requests for the entire collection of books at several schools in the district were previously received, as well as requests from parents to read each book in their child’s school library due to content issues.

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