‘Needs to be investigated as a crime’

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Florida school board member files criminal complaint over teen LGBTQ book

A member of the Flagler County, Florida school board has filed a criminal complaint over four copies of an LGBTQ book recommended for 14 to 18 year olds, claiming it violates the state’s obscenity laws.

“My concern is for the children of Flagler County,” Jill Woolbright claims, according to the Palm Coast Observer. “This book needs to be investigated as a crime in our media center. This is pretty heavy stuff, violating our own policies. That’s why I felt the need to file the report, so I know it will be investigated.”

The book Woolbright calls a “crime” is titled, “All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto,” by George M. Johnson. Amazon.com calls it “An Amazon Best Book of the Year optioned for television by Gabrielle Union!”

Woolbright’s complaint is just the latest attack against LGBTQ books in school libraries, which is an attack on LGBTQ students, who desperately need representation, validation, confirmation, and to see themselves in cultural works and in society.

In May Woolbright appeared on the WNZF radio show “Today with Pastor J” and declared becoming a school board member was her “calling.

“Who I am is a child of God and it influences everything I say and do,” she said, “because that’s what it means to be a child of God. I’ll just put it out there, yes I am a Christian, and people knew that going in, and it affects my decisions.”

“I pray a lot about my job,” Woolbright added.

The publisher’s description calls “All Boys Aren’t Blue” a “primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color.”

All Boys Aren’t Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy.”

Amazon lists the popular book’s achievements:

  • Featured on Good Morning America and Fox Soul
  • Amazon Best Book of the Year
  • CNN Summer Read Pick
  • Teen Vogue Recommended Read
  • Buzzfeed Recommended Read
  • People Magazine Best Book of the Summer
  • An Indie Bestseller
  • An ALA Rainbow List Pick
  • A New York Library Best Book of 2020
  • A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2020
  • A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2020
  • Publishers Weekly Anti-Racist Reading List Pick
  • 2021 Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List Pick
  • A Kids’ Book Choice Award Finalist
  • #1 YALSA Teen’s Top Ten List Winner

Just one day earlier, on Wednesday, South Carolina’s Republican Governor Henry McMaster ordered another LGBTQ book for teenagers banned from school libraries, calling it obscene, “deeply disturbing,” “manifestly inappropriate,” and even “pornographic.” He, too, ordered law enforcement to investigate, claiming the book’s very existence in school libraries “is likely illegal” under state law.

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