Several books from Dearborn Public Schools have been pulled from the curriculum due to parents being concerned about the content within the books. The content of the reading material even prompted one mom to file a police report. According to WXYZ Channel 7, seven books have been temporarily removed from curriclum by the school district. Additionally, thousands of titles were restricted from an e-book app.
A parent from Edsel Ford High School, Stephanie Butler says her daughter checked out a book titled “Flamer” from the schools library on Monday. According to Butler, there are graphic descriptions of sexual acts between young boys in the book. During her interview with Channel 7, Butler said, “You know when you put something into a kid’s mind, it makes them want to do it more or try it.” Butler has complained about six different books, some available in person and others through the school’s Sora app. Among the titles that upset Butler and other parents was a book titled “This Book is Gay.” The books discusses topics such as how to join dating apps and how to talk to people who identify as Christian or Muslim and are gay. It was so controversial, it was reported to the Dearborn Police Department by Butler and other parents. According to a department spokesperson, the matter is currently being investigated.
Former district teacher Paul Bruce, says the book “This Book is Gay,” is very educational. Channel 7 interviewed him as well and Bruce said, “It answers so many questions I wish could have been answered for me as a child. My life would have been so different.” Bruce also stated that, “You have to be able to address those concerns. How do you stay safe? How do you prevent yourself from being abused verbally or physically? And how do you stand up to that when it is being thrown at you?” Bruce is concerned that the district will cave due to the pressure being applied from Butler and other frustrated parents.
David Mustonen, who heads communications for the Dearborn Public Schools said, “We are not banning books, I want to make that very clear. What we are doing is evaluating the books in our inventory.” District officials say they have more than 100,000 titles to review. There is a possibility that the process could take up to a year to finish. A consultant for the district’s curriculum and professional development, Dr. Ross Groover says their efforts go beyond just pulling seven books. Groover says, “We’ve also removed student access to all e-books that are available through the Sora app and the Wayne consortium and the Dearborn Public Library overdrive collection.”