Buxton, ME

A Maine school district has been asked to remove two books from the school library

The Maine Writer

LibrarySusan Q Yin/Unsplash

Maine School District 6 (MSAD 6) serves 3,500 students from the towns of Buxton, Hollis, Limington, Standish, and Frye Island. At a recent board of education meeting, one group of parents is asking for two books to be removed from the library bookshelves, while another group of parents is supporting the books.

The books in question are "It's Perfectly Normal": Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health by Robie Harris and "Gender Queer" by Maia Kobabe. The book, It's Perfectly Normal, was first published in September 1994 but has been updated with new information. The book has appeared on the American Library Association's most challenged book list since the year 2005. The book has been the subject of controversy over the years because of the images, which are considered to be inappropriate for the age range that the author targeted the book towards. The author recommends the book for children ages ten and up. This is also the second complaint about this book. York Middle School received a complaint about the book back in February 2022, asking for the book to be removed, but the town school committee voted to keep the book in the York Middle School library.

The Maine School Boards Association has an online form for people to register complaints about books. The school district superintendent is then the person responsible for forming a committee to review the complaint. A complaint cannot be based on passages taken out of context, and the complaint must consider the entire book. Until the committee makes a decision, a book cannot be taken out of a school library.

The second book, Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, is from 2019 and is a memoir comic written and illustrated by Kobabe that tells Kobabe's journey from adolescence to adulthood, with Kobabe ultimately identifying as being outside of the gender binary. This book is one of the ten most challenged on the American Library Association's Top Ten Most Challenged Book Listings of 2021.

Maine State Representative Amy Arata put forth a bill LD 94 in 2019 named "An Act To Prohibit The Dissemination of Obscene Materials by Public Schools". The bill was unanimously rejected by the Maine legislature.

The groups Educate Maine, the Maine School Superintendents' Association, the Maine Teachers' Union, and the Maine Department of Education did release a statement in January 2022 on the challenges to books in school libraries.

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A Mainer who loves freelance writing, photography, and sharing Maine and New England travel destinations. I will also be focusing on news and events in Maine along with the topics of New England travel, food, DIY, gardening, and homesteading. I am always looking for stories to tell, so email me anytime @ TheMaineWriter @outlook.com with any news going on in your town, fundraisers in your area, community service projects, education news and stories, businesses you want to recommend, and any of your neighbors or community members that are making a difference so I can shine a spotlight on them. I would especially like to hear more about Maine veterans' events and stories in our communities so I can write more stories about the issues facing Maine veterans. I will always only write the facts and stay neutral never taking political positions in my writing. Sadly too many in the media have turned the news into their opinion pieces rather than sticking to just reporting news.

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