Hillsborough County, FL – In a recent survey by Rasmussen Reports and the Capitol Resource Institute, seventy-seven percent (77%) of those polled are concerned that school-age children are being exposed to sexual material that is not age appropriate. The evidence supporting those concerns is overwhelming. Week after week, videos are surfacing online of parents voicing those concerns at school board meetings, parents who have been labeled by the organizations they are trusting to educate their children, as domestic terrorists.
Recently, Hillsborough County CDF uncovered over two hundred books in Hillsborough County public schools that contain explicit sexual content as well as other inappropriate material. Hillsborough CDF, along with concerned parents and members of the community, worked for weeks communicating with district staff, the school board, as well as speaking at public board meetings to bring awareness about these harmful books and have them removed from school libraries. One such book, This Book is Gay by author Juno Dawson, covers topics from “the ins and outs of gay sex”, excerpts and illustrations depicting explicit nudity and sexual activities, even how to use the online dating app, Grindr, for casual dating and hook-ups with strangers, which would predictably include adults and pedophiles. It promotes multiple sex partners, orgies, kinks, as well as detailed information on how to have anal and “girl on girl” sex.
Shockingly, the Educational Media Materials Committee of Pierce Middle School submitted a final report that after carefully considering policies, procedures, professional book reviews, and reading the book in its entirety, their final decision is to maintain This Book is Gay in the school’s library. The committee unanimously voted that this book is “appropriate for members of our school’s student population and should remain in the media center.”
This Book is Gay blatantly promotes sex and harmful sexual behaviors for children, like visiting an adult online dating app for casual sexual encounters, and the Hillsborough County Public School system believes that retaining this book is appropriate for 11–13-year-old children. Florida statutes make it clear that public schools are to teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard. This Book is Gay clearly fails to meet these statutory requirements.
Hillsborough County CDF is committed to protecting children and will continue to shine the light and bring awareness as this story unfolds.