University Schools Library Book Petition

University Schools

6525 West 18th Street

Greeley, CO, 80634

(970) 506-7000

 

Dear Director Weaver,

Ms. Budzynzki,

Principal Casey

and the University Board of Governors,

This letter serves as a unified formal complaint and request to remove several books in the school library that depict graphic sex, violence and pedophilia. Furthermore, we request that a committee that includes parent members be created to review future library purchases, as trust has been diminished through the offering of these selections. The books we are requesting immediately be removed are Lawn Boy, Gender Queer, The Bluest Eyes, and All Boys aren’t Blue. This request is being made with three key points in mind. These books are pornographic, create further vulnerability for LGBTQ students and are not appropriate educational material for any level in a K-12 school.

Pornography is the depiction of erotic behavior in pictures or writing. It has similar effects on the dopamine receptors in the brain as drugs and alcohol and can be addictive. Frequent viewing can negatively impact the developing brain that is not fully mature until age 25. Pornograhy does not promote healthy relationships, but rather teaches dominance, aggression and disrespect and frequently leads to antisocial behavior (Byrin, n.d)

Even more concerning, is that adolescents who view pornographic material are more likely to be the victims of sexual violence (Byrin, n.d.). Providing or showing children sexual explicit material is a form of grooming (Child Grooming Sign, Stages and Behavior, n.d.). Even if the provider of such materials does not go on to abuse the child, the child is at a higher risk of victimization by others because they have been groomed through the images presented. And if that is not alarming enough, a 2011 study of college aged men that were exposed to rape pornography, reported a greater likelihood of committing rape and/or sexual assualt, a greater acceptance of rape myths and a decreased likelihood of intervening in a sexual assaut (Byrin, pg. 54)

The argument has been made that these books are necessary to provide adequate representation of LGBTQ students. It is alarming that the books representing this already vulnerable group depict explicit sex acts with minors, predatory pedophilic behavior, and unhealthy examples of relationships. Books with heterosexual minors with illustrations depicting graphic sex acts are not equally represented in the library. There should be the same standard of protection for those identifying as LGBTQ. This discrepancy furthers stereotypes and discrimination.

School libraries are different from the public domain in that they are part of the educational framework. Books that are available should support the overall goal of education. They are exclusively used for the education of minors and therefore should have different standards in their selection and distribution of materials. The adults selecting the resources and reading materials that will be offered have the responsibility to protect children from explicit images and content that could be harmful to their development. This has not been done when it comes to these books. It is not the job of a K-12 school to educate students on sexual positions, sex toys, rape porn or any other manner of sexual gratification.

We ask that these books be reviewed and removed immediately. Furthermore, we request a committee be formed that includes parents, to screen for appropriate content before future library purchases are made. We also request transparency with parents on books that are purchased. If a meeting is required to get this review started, we are formally requesting one be scheduled immediately that is open to any parents or concerned citizens who are in collaboration with this letter and provide their signature in agreement.

An excerpt from each book is included.

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