4 votes

Kalamazoo school district decides not to have LGBTQ books in reading program

3 comments

  1. Keegan
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    I'm more upset at the avoidance of disabilities than avoidance of LGBT books tbh. People should learn how to interact and understand those who have mental or physical disabilities before they...

    I'm more upset at the avoidance of disabilities than avoidance of LGBT books tbh. People should learn how to interact and understand those who have mental or physical disabilities before they learn about sexuality, something that I think is pushed way too early in general (even for heterosexuality). Anyways, I think disabilities are easier to understand for younger people than sexuality, especially when it comes to pronouns. Not an expert clearly, just my 2ยข.

    5 votes
  2. kfwyre
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    Growing pains. Though it's awful that people are opposing LGBT-focused literature for kids, it wasn't too long ago that said literature simply didn't exist. Alex Gino's George is a book with a...

    Growing pains. Though it's awful that people are opposing LGBT-focused literature for kids, it wasn't too long ago that said literature simply didn't exist. Alex Gino's George is a book with a transgender protagonist that's age-appropriate for elementary schools. It's downright landmark in that regard and has had incredible reach. Unfortunately, its success was also likely the cause of it being 2018's most challenged book in the US.

    I know it's tempting to read this article and see it as disheartening, but I think it's worth putting it in the larger context that publishers have only recently gotten comfortable mass-producing LGBT literature that's meant for and accessible to children. Ten years ago you could count the titles on only a few hands, and few of them had broad recognition. Contrastingly, kids today have so many books with LGBT characters and experiences available to them! With more coming out every month! So, in some ways, this pushback is reflective of progress. You can't protest or ban what isn't there, but these books and stories aren't absent from classes like they used to be.

    Granted, that doesn't mean I agree with the district's decision, but I am sympathetic to the pressures they face. Parents on a mission are a force to be reckoned with, and where the school and district face a ton of restrictions on what they can and can't say and do, a parent faces almost none. Some simply cannot be reasoned with and will stop at nothing to get what they want. I don't believe the district made the right call here, but I would be willing to bet it wasn't an easy call and that there was a lot of ugliness behind the scenes that pushed them towards that decision.

    5 votes
  3. joplin
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    After 3 parents complained, a Kalamazoo school district decided not to have LGBTQ books in their reading program. They've decided to focus on "racial and ethnic diversity, and to avoid other...

    After 3 parents complained, a Kalamazoo school district decided not to have LGBTQ books in their reading program. They've decided to focus on "racial and ethnic diversity, and to avoid other diversity issues such as disability, socio-economics, and sexuality at this time."

    4 votes