Florida School Board Orders Man To Stop Reading Sexually Graphic Passage From School Library Book

A Florida school board didn't like what it heard this week when a man stepped to the mic during the public comment portion of the night and started reading a passage from Gender Queer, a book hailed by the LGBTQ community that resides in the Boone High School library.

The man starts to read the very graphic sexual passage where one of the book's subjects describes getting a "new strap-on harness," and starts to push further into the book when he's interrupted by Teresa Jacobs, chairwoman of the Orange County School Board, who orders the man to stop reading and ultimately tells police to "remove him from the chambers."

Jacobs tells those in attendance that she was unaware of the book being in the library, but states, "the language he just read is inappropriate for this forum."

Jacobs adds, "I understand the contradiction here. This is the first time I've heard of this and the board has heard of this. We will look into the matter and I do hope that the book is removed."

From the book's Amazon listing:

In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia’s intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears.

Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity—what it means and how to think about it—for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.

In early October, Brevard (FL) Public Schools announced it would be pulling the book from its libraries. "BPS staff immediately agreed that this book violates our guidelines and that it has no place in our school district. I have directed staff to ensure there are no other similar books in our libraries," BPS Superintendent Dr. Mark Mullins said in a statement. "I want to remind families that each school's library books can be reviewed online. I encourage parents to review the content that is available to students."


Written by
Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America. Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league. Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.