Troy schools remove two books, keep seven after resident’s complaint

Books deal with sexual identity or gender identity; one was completely removed, another will only be at high school

TROY – The Troy City Schools are removing two books, one each from the high school and junior high school libraries, following a district committee review of a resident’s complaint about nine titles and sexually explicit content.

The complaint was filed with the Board of Education at a June meeting by resident Bob Eyink. He listed nine books available at the Troy High School library, Troy Junior High School library and Van Cleve School sixth-grade building library.

“I want to thank the teachers and parents that make Troy schools great. Parents need to be aware of and involved in moral topics and activities that affect their children at school,” Eyink said in a statement he read to the school board. “I am submitting a ‘Request for Review’ of nine books in the high school, junior high and VanCleve libraries.”

The books Eyink questioned deal with issues of sexual identity or gender identity.

The filing set into motion the district’s written policy for review of instructional materials. The process included the formation of a review committee that included seven teachers, two librarians, one principal and one central office staff member.

The policy requires the committee to include the following guidelines while reviewing the challenged materials:

* The appropriateness of the material for the age and maturity level of the students with whom it is being used;

* The accuracy of the material;

* The objectivity of the material;

* The use being made of the material.

Following the review the following action was recommended:

* “Beyond Magenta” (Troy High School) — This book should be removed from circulation due to the coarse and descriptive language of a sexual nature.

* “Magical Boy” (Troy Junior High) — This book would be better suited for high school students. It should be removed from junior high circulation.

The other seven books that were subject to review will remain in the libraries, as the committee’s recommendation for all seven of those books was, “This book should not be removed from circulation.”

One of those books — “Middle School is a Drag” — is in the Van Cleve library. The other six are in the Troy High School library — “Being Transgender,” “Becoming Nicole,” “Freak boy,” “Pumpkin,” “Being Jazz,” and “Some Assembly Required.”

The resident was notified of the decision earlier this month. An appeal is possible, but nothing had been filed as of Thursday, said Chris Piper, Troy schools superintendent.

He said this is the first challenge he has seen while at Troy schools and has not had challenges filed at any other district where he has worked.

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