A school board meeting in Austin, Texas went off the rails this week after a local mother scolded officials for having a sexually explicit book at the library of one of its middle schools.
On Wednesday, Kara Bell interrupted a COVID-19-related board meeting to request that the aforementioned book be removed from her daughter’s school.
“I do not want my children to learn about anal sex in middle school,” Bell told the board. “I’ve never had anal sex. I don’t want to have anal sex. I don’t want my kids having anal sex. I want you to start focusing on education and not public health!”
Local news station KXAN reports the book, titled Out of Darkness and written by Ashley Hope Pérez, “Chronicles a love affair between an African American boy and a Mexican American girl against the backdrop of a horrific 1937 explosion in East Texas, which killed nearly 300 schoolchildren and teachers.”
Lake Travis Independent School District confirmed on Thursday that it pulled the book from the libraries of its two middle schools following Bell’s complaint.
“A district possesses significant discretion to determine the content of its school libraries,” a spokesperson told KXAN. “A district must, however, exercise its discretion in a manner consistent with the First Amendment.”
The spokesperson added: “A district shall not remove materials from a library for the purpose of denying students access to ideas with which the district disagrees. A district may remove materials, because they are pervasively vulgar or based solely upon the educational suitability of the books in question.”