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Home / News / Culture Watch / Johnson County schools push graphic gay sex book on 6th graders
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Johnson County schools push graphic gay sex book on 6th graders

A controversial book about a young man’s gay sexual exploits is on the approved reading list at several school districts in Johnson County, Kan.

The Blue Valley, Olathe and Shawnee Mission School Districts are responding to agitated parents after an Olathe school board candidate posted pages from the sexually explicit “All Boys Aren’t Blue” to Facebook.

The book is a nonfiction memoir that describes sexual acts in graphic detail. Good Reads calls it “a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for queer men of color.” Olathe school board candidates Brian Connell, Jenny Gilmore and Robert Kuhn brought the book to the attention of voters via social media. Gilmore calls the book “pornography.”

johnson gay“I don’t see the educational value of giving children pornography,” Gilmore said in a Facebook Live video. “If we’re just talking about what’s appropriate language for children, I would guarantee you that if I took this book to a board meeting, I could not read it out loud. They would shut down the meeting.”

Facebook even removed Gilmore’s original post that featured an excerpt from the book. The social media company said the content violated “standards on nudity or sexual activity,” according to The Sentinel.

In Blue Valley, the book is not a required or supplemental novel used in whole-class instruction. However, it is available for checkout in four of the district’s high school libraries. A Shawnee Mission Elementary School newsletter listed the book among its new titles for ages 12 to 18, but the digital copy of the newsletter no longer includes the list of new titles. The book ended up in a 7th grade English classroom in Olathe thanks to a grant from the Olathe Schools Foundation.

The Olathe district uses a team of individuals, including administrators, department chairs, teachers and library media specialists regarding curriculum materials. Blue Valley also uses certified librarians and professional reviews for age appropriateness in selecting library materials.

“In the case of ‘All Boys Aren’t Blue,’ four such reviewers found the book appropriate for grades 9 and above or age 14 and above,” said Kaci Brutto, director of communications for the Blue Valley School District.

According to Sen. Molly Baumgardner, chair of the Senate Education Committee, parents want to know what schools are doing. They want to know ahead of time, and they want the ability to opt out. “Parents have had enough,” she said. “Parents are opening the windows, and they’re screaming that they’re mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore.”

If you would like to contact the school districts you can do so here:

Blue Valley: (913) 239-4000.  

Olathe: Superintendent Brent Yeager, byeagerec@olatheschools.org, (913) 780-7000

Shawnee Mission: askthedistrict@smsd.org,  (913) 993-6200

 

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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