Understanding Sexual Identity

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Date: 1997

Region: North America

Subject: Sexual Orientation

Medium: Literature


Artist: Janice Rench

Confronting Bodies: Parents and area ministers

Dates of Action: May 1997

Location: Brownsville High School library, Pennsylvania

Description of Artwork: This 56-page book is geared toward gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents. Understanding Sexual Identity addresses issues such as AIDS and alcohol abuse. It also discusses gays throughout history, religious and emotional questions that arise with respect to homosexuality and how to use condoms.

The Incident: A parent complained to school officials about the book when her son brought it home from school. After the parent complained, other parents and area ministers met to discuss the book and later the group approached school officials asking that the book not be accessible to students. The book was removed while a committee, comprising of three teachers and a parent, was reviewing the issue.

Results of Incident: Parents, educators, and representatives of the ACLU all vocalized their opinions. Ultimately the committee decided to keep the book in circulation. However, parents may still notify the librarian if they do not wish for their child read the book.

Source: Attacks on the Freedom to Learn, November 1997, NCAC