Kansas library considers moving transgender children’s books to another area

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The board of a Kansas public library will reportedly consider a request that books featuring transgender characters be moved out of the children’s section.

Andover, Kan., resident Marci Laffen made the written request, asking that the books “George,” ″Lily and Dunkin,” and “I am Jazz” be moved to the either the adult or young adult section of the library, according to The Associated Press.

{mosads}The Wichita Eagle noted that Laffen cited the “sexual content” in the books in her request. In addition, she says themes of bullying, rebelling against police and refusing to take medications are reasons the books do not have a place in the children’s section of the Andover Public Library.

The AP reported that the library’s board members will decide on where the books are shelved in mid-February. A meeting held last week to discuss the issue was attended by more than 50 people.

Blake Cooper, a library board member, told the news service that Laffen’s request characterized the works as “sexual revolution agenda” and “indoctrination of children.”

“I am Jazz” is a picture book biography about a transgender child and is classified as juvenile nonfiction at the library. The book had been shelved in the children’s section, but now sits with other nonfiction books on “institutions pertaining to relations of the sexes,” The Eagle reported.

The newspaper said the move was made following the complaint.

“George” and “Lily and Dunkin” are books about transgender children and are classified as juvenile fiction.

The request has led to discussions about a library’s role in sex education as well as a child’s right to read about topics that may involve complex subjects.

“We have many (nonfiction) picture books — we have a Martin Luther King picture book, we have a Revolutionary War picture book — all about factual events,”  Jennifer Clark, the Andover Publi Library’s youth services manager, said. “But they are illustrated, they have a certain word count, they are geared toward a certain audience. The same way ‘I am Jazz’ is.”


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