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Sexually Explicit Books Pulled from Michigan School Libraries

Written by Zamena Manekia Manji, Anchored by Fatima El-Zein, Produced by Mehrab Hasan

Concerned parents made a case to pull seven explicit books available to children in Dearborn, Michigan’s public schools. A police report was filed as well for one of the books that groomed children to join dating apps, the report citing that the content was dangerous. Parent outcry has leaders discussing this issue in schools across the nation.


Seven arguably explicit books available to children in Dearborn, Michigan’s public schools were removed after parents expressed concerns. One of the mothers filed a public report as well, worried that the content was ‘dangerous’. Parent outcry has leaders discussing this issue in schools across the nation. The book in question is called “Flamer” which depicts explicit acts between young boys and graphic descriptions.

The school district confirmed that it has temporarily pulled seven books and even restricted access to an e-book app containing thousands of titles.

This came in a month after a Michigan town collectively voted to defund the only local library they have in a quest to prevent children from reading LGBTQ based books.

With TMJ News, this is Fatima El Zein and you’re watching today’s newscast.

Jamestown Township’s Patmos Public Library lost 84% of its operating budget on August 2nd after parents were outraged over the books  “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” “Kiss Number 8″ and “Spinning,” Bridge Michigan said.

The parents labeled the books as explicit and were deeply concerned of the easy accessibility of such mature content to their children.

“I wasn’t expecting anything like this,” Board President Larry Walton said. “The library is the center of the community. For individuals to be short-sighted to close that down over opposing LGBTQ is very disappointing.”

The defunding vote surfaced during a nationwide effort to review and ban books from classrooms and libraries — an effort directed by conservatives. The book titled as gender queer was the most banned book last year which never received any complaints prior until a mother took a stand and labeled it as sexually explicit.

Parent outcry in Dearborn mimics the stand people took in Jamestown to raise their voices against explicit content. One of the books pulled out from the Dearborn public school library shelf is entitled as ‘This Book is Gay’. It primarily focuses on being lesbian, bisexual, gay, queer, transgender or just curious. This book even has content relating to how to navigate your feelings if you are a Christian or a Muslim.

However, Paul Bruce, a former teacher with the district, argues the book has ‘educational value’. He even mentioned that during his teaching time at the schools, Bruce rallied with the school’s anti-bullying campaigns. “It answers so many questions I wish could have been answered for me as a child,” Bruce said. “My life would have been so different.”

Stephanie Butler, one of the parents who took a stand for the removal of the books, said that she asked her daughter to check a book from the Edsel Ford high school library Titled “Flamer”. The book contained shockingly explicit acts between young boys equipped with rather grotesque illustrations.

“You know when you put something into a kid’s mind, it makes them want to do it more or try it,” Butler said. “If these were just LGBT romance novels that is completely appropriate,” The mom of four continued. “Where I draw the line is teaching them how to actually do the act.”

Butler argued that such instructions, particularly about dating apps, is dangerous.

“I knew I had to take action before somebody got hurt,” Butler said. “I am worried if they do meet somebody (through the apps), they could get raped, kidnapped or trafficked.”

The head of communication for the Dearborn Public schools stated “We are not banning books, I want to make that very clear,” he continues, “What we are doing is evaluating the books in our inventory.”

The district announced that they have over 100,000 titles to examine, a process that could take a year to complete, said Dr. Ross Groover, a consultant for the district’s curriculum and professional development.

“We’ve also removed student access to all e-books that are available through the Sora app and the Wayne consortium and the Dearborn Public Library overdrive collection,” he added.

The decision has left the community divided with some for the ban and others against it.

“No one has a right to censor someone else except a parent for their child,” said a citizen, “As public officials, it is your duty to try to maintain as wide of access to information as possible.”

When one school board member said that the books helped to expose students to different viewpoints and lifestyles, the crowd responded with applause.

While the United States of America fully embraces and endorses the LQBTQ community to create a free environment, parents are increasingly concerned about the bombardment of information and explicit content on their children at an early age.



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  • Zamena Manekia Manji

    Zamena Manekia Manji is a breaking news writer for TMJ News with experience of over 10 years in the field. Her areas of focus are important breaking stories in North America specifically untold stories from a minority lens.

  • Fatima El-Zein

    Fatima El-Zein is Lead Producer at TMJ News where she aims to bring more awareness about her community through storytelling. El-Zein grew up in Toronto, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Journalism at the University of Toronto and also received a diploma in Journalism from Centennial College. She has worked extensively for CBC News before moving to the United States.

  • Mehrab Hasan

    Mehrab Hasan is a video content creator who wants to make the world a little better by sharing positive content with his viewers. He is passionate about creating content that makes people think and helps them learn something new.

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