The Brookfield Board of Education decided at a special meeting last night that it would keep the controversial book, "This Book Is Gay", in its online catalog for students.
The book has been frequently challenged over explicit sexual content, since it details instructions for boy-on-boy and girl-on-girl sex, and includes diagrams and tips on how two men can pleasure one another (e.g., oral sex, anal sex) and tips on how two women can pleasure one another (e.g., "fingers", toys, "strap ons"). The book even recommends joining sex apps to find the nearest anonymous people for meet-ups.
One concerned member of the community, Austin Monteiro, said, “After you’ve all read and digested this instructional, how-to manual, because that is what it is, as the author states on page two on the back cover... I hope that you will base your decision on the content and meaning that has been communicated and crafted towards children in this manual, with children in the school as young as 13 years old.”
Despite the concerns about the explicit content, 5 of the 7 board members who voted felt it was important to keep this pornographic book in the hands of children.
BOE Chairman Bob Belden defended the book, saying it "was about relationships, it was about dealing with family, dealing with yourself, being strong, making decisions…" He continued to explain that he wants the book in the library so badly that he plans on personally donating a hard copy to the library himself!
Monteiro is not surprised by the BOE's decision, but cautioned that Belden's book donation could present an issue since it appears to go against BOE policy. He also alleged that the principal broke a policy on challenged books from day one, and lied last night during his comments about this policy. The principal even allegedly misrepresented and misquoted the policy manual, leading reasonable people to wonder if the principal even read the manual at all.
Monteiro said, "We should be focused on academic excellence and not on creating political identity activism in schools, it’s not the place nor the time."
That's an understatement.