Summit Trail Middle School in Olathe, KS, recently received significant backlash when a 7th Grade teacher posted on social media that she was excited to add two controversial books with sexually explicit content to her classroom library.
The books in question—All Boys Aren’t Blue and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe—were reportedly donated by a local resident for use in the school. Both books have sparked their fair share of controversy, receiving bans in multiple schools across the nation. All Boys Aren’t Blue, published just last year, features particularly graphic sexual depictions between boys. Examples of offending passages were reported by the Daily Caller.
Parents in the Olathe school district have expressed opposition. One parent, now running for school board in the district, says her concern was initially met with an attempt to justify the inclusion of one of the books, saying she was told by the district, “Please see the book has numerous awards and they are listed.” The parent added, “This is not political, this is our young children being groomed for an over-sexualized world. Period.”
The incident comes at a time when parents around the country are voicing their frustration regarding the content that is readily available to their children in public school settings. In Fairfax County, VA, one mother, who had never spoken up at a school board meeting, realized she couldn’t stay silent about the content of two books that featured graphic sexual depictions and even pedophilia. The content was so explicit that the school board interrupted and scolded her when she read the passages aloud. The mother, Stacy Langton, asserts that the need to interrupt her demonstrates her point.
Adding to the mounting frustrations of these concerned parents is the recent National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) call for federal officials to investigate ‘protestors’ at school board meetings under anti-terrorism law. The NSBA claims that protests “could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
Many school districts have refused to have open meetings, restricted comment, or conducted business via zoom or equivalent methods to silence parents. The actions and statements have drawn heavy criticism from parental rights groups. There is a growing sentiment that parents will be either silenced or labeled as “domestic terrorists” for simply expressing their concern about the egregious materials offered to their children.
Olathe Public School’s communication and media manager, Becky Grubaugh has said, “This book is not a part of the District’s approved core reading list for all students and the District has requested that the individual remove it from their optional classroom library.”
The Lion reached out to Olathe Public Schools for any updates or clarification that the teacher has in fact removed the books but has not received a response.