Texas Man Forcibly Removed from Meeting

Created by Monica Carlyle on Wed Aug 23 2023

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ SCHOOL BOARD VOTES TO KEEP 2 BOOKS ON SHELVES, DESPITE EXPLICIT CONTENT Controversy has raged recently between parents and school boards over the inclusion of Mike Curato's award-winning 2020 graphic novel "Flamer" in local libraries. Despite pressure from parents concerned about explicit content, the New Brunswick, NJ school board voted unanimously on Tuesday evening to keep the book on the shelves. This decision comes in the wake of a similar incident that occurred in Dearborn, Michigan where a mother confronted a school board over the inclusion of Curato's book. In Texas, a video of a man forcibly removed by security at a school board meeting went viral. At the meeting, he had been reading an excerpt from "Flamer" with the line, "Who wants my hot wiener?" "Flamer" is a semi-autobiographical graphic novel set in 1995 that tells the story of Aiden, who is bullied at a Boy Scouts summer camp for "acting in a manner considered stereotypical of gay men." The American Library Association highlighted "Flamer" as one of the most "banned books" of 2022 and it has been challenged in at least 62 schools for its LGBTQ content and sexually explicit material. PEN America noted "Flamer" was the top spot for "most banned books in the U.S. during the first half of the 2022-23 school year. Illustrations included in the book have caused controversy, such as one panel show a teenage boy bending down in a shower while another cleans himself. However, no genitalia is shown in these depictions. Curato said he wrote "Flamer" as honest novel for teenagers about teenage life and teenage situations. He also stressed it is easy for bad actors to pull specific images out of context from his book, making it seem like the book is about sex, which it is not. Despite public criticism, the New Brunswick school board held firm in their decision to keep the book on the shelves, adamant that it is important to provide diverse content to young audiences.

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