Texas mom Kara Bell is fed up with the Lake Travis Independent School District, but this time she flipped the script and didn’t unload on the board over COVID masking or financial issues. Nope, Kara wanted to address an “anal sex” book that was on the shelves at school libraries.
Ms. Bell’s focus was on a book titled “Out of Darkness” by author Ashley Hope Perez that includes a “cornholing” passage that Bell learned referenced anal sex.
“Not going to lie, I had to Google ‘cornhole’ because I have the game in my backyard,” Bell told the school board.
Kara wasn’t done just yet. She had more to get off her chest. She read a passage from the book
“I do not want my children to learn about anal sex in middle school.” At that point, Ms. Bell’s microphone was turned off, but she kept going.
“I’ve never had anal sex. I don’t want to have anal sex. I don’t want my kids having anal sex,” she continued. “I want you to start focusing on education and not public health.”
A spokesperson for Lake Travis Independent School District told KXAN it had pulled the “anal” book from two middle school libraries as the school district goes into a full investigation over this whole cornholing subject.
“A district possesses significant discretion to determine the content of its school libraries,” the spokesperson told KXAN. “A district must, however, exercise its discretion in a manner consistent with the First Amendment.”
“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.”
A quick analysis of the Amazon reviews for “Out of Darkness” shows that it has been the center of debate going back to 2016 when it started to gain steam within the library community.
In March 2016, ‘ETXlibrarian’ wrote a book review for Amazon:
I was not impressed with this book. As a librarian, I was excited when I saw one of the Printz Honor Books for 2016 was historical fiction about a tragedy that happened about 80 years ago in my east Texas. It was an award-winning book that should be shared with HS students about the explosion of the New London school in 1937. WRONG. The prelude was great, but that was about all that can be shared with students.
Every 20-30 pages Ms. Perez decided to drop a sex bomb in the mix, not R but X-Rated. I’m sure there are some librarians and teachers out there who are quite uncomfortable purchasing or recommending a book with graphic sexual language and situations continually repeated throughout a book especially when they thought they were going to get some historical perspective from it. BEWARE!
Furthermore, how could I possibly recommend a book with such a horrific ending? “Here students, spend hours and hours of the free time you barely have reading a book that will make you feel like crap when you finish it.”