Book ban effort at NJ school library sparked police call, report says
A growing conservative movement to ban books has touched some school libraries in New Jersey, as critics even called local police in one town about two books in particular, according to a New York Times report.
The Clinton Township Police Department received at least one call about “obscene materials” in a library, as the North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional High School District dealt with some parents very upset about two books in particular, “Lawn Boy” and “Gender Queer,” as reported by the Times.
Both books focus on LGBTQ issues; critics have called them “pornographic” for their depictions of sexual situations.
The books were brought up at a number of school board meetings, which are recorded and posted to Youtube for public record.
During one such meeting, the Times report said a parent equated having such books on a library shelf “to an effort to groom our kids to make them more willing to participate in the heinous acts described in these books."
At a board meeting on Jan.25, a number of students spoke in favor of maintaining access to such books.
The North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional Board of Education then passed resolutions in January, to keep in its high school library five LGBTQ books that had come under fire.
Librarians have also been singled out and slandered by such critics, according to the Times report, in New Jersey and other states.
A similar outcry from a small group of parents stretched out over multiple school board meetings in the Wayne Township school district, starting last year, involving one of the same books (“Gender Queer”).
“Attempts to ban books from libraries are rising at an unprecedented level across the country. The American Library Association reported more than 729 attempted bans of 1,597 individual books in 2021 alone,” according to the ALA and the coalition United Against Book Bans.