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Whopping 75 percent of picture book challenges nationwide focus on LGBT content: Study

The Washington Post noted that parents voicing concerns over content they claim is inappropriate for young children in schools overwhelmingly targets LGBTQ+ content, according to its schoolbook challenge analysis that assesses parents’ reasons for opposing certain content.

“The discontent with children’s picture books overwhelmingly centers on titles with LGBTQ characters and storylines, which were targeted in 75 percent of such challenges,” The Post said it uncovered. 

The report added that the predominant concern was parents didn’t want their children reading about “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, nonbinary and queer lives.”

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“I think that you see a long pattern: Concerns tend to mirror whatever the big social changes are at any particular time.”

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Julian is a mermaid

‘Julian is a Mermaid’ is one of the children’s books The Washington Post cited as a source of parent complaints. (iStock)

But some parents have different perceptions, lambasting the authors of some books as “groomers,” an insult alluded to in the piece. Many, for example, have taken to their local school boards with complaints, requesting stricter review policies and the removal of some titles that allegedly contain mature themes or other content parents don’t want their children to see.

Library book shelves

Parents continue to challenge books they view as inappropriate in schools nationwide. (iStock)

“The Post requested and analyzed roughly 2,500 pages of book challenges filed in more than 100 districts nationwide throughout the 2021-2022 academic year,” adding, “The free expression advocacy group PEN America, too, concluded that more than 300 picture books were challenged at school in the 2021-2022 school year.”

Kaylani Juanita, author of “When Aidan Became a Brother,” a book featuring a transgender protagonist, told the outlet she was surprised that so many people were challenging picture books in particular.

“Part of me is like, ‘Wow, people are really putting all this emphasis on picture books?’” she said. “They’re treating these books like weapons.”

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