(KNSI) – A book that some parents in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District complained was too sexually graphic has been removed from its high school. The controversy is over the book “Him” by Sarina Bowen.
Some parents and members of the group Kids over Politics 748 brought the book to the district’s attention after an outside group informed KOP that it was available at the high school. At Monday’s school board meeting, sixth-grade parent Kelsey Yasgar read aloud passages from the book. The book is nothing but straight-up hardcore pornography. And this obviously raised some pretty big concerns for our group and for many community members.”
She says a book like this should never be allowed in a public K-12 school. It’s almost completely filled with descriptive sexual acts. Material like this does not have any place in my daughter’s education at Sartell.”
Superintendent Dr. Jeff Ridlehoover agrees the book has no place in school and says staff acted as soon as they learned there was a problem. “The book is not in circulation and has not been in circulation for the better part of a week and a half. The book itself has never been checked out of the bookshelf that it had been on.”
Officials say the book had been in circulation only a short time. Ridlehoover says it is still determining how this book ended up in the school, but the district is now reviewing its processes for how it allows reading materials. “That protocol was not clearly understood or clearly followed. I believe it was a mistake that was made by staff members who were simply looking for some books, and this book ended up on one of the shelves. It was not vetted in a normal way that we would typically vet books.”
The new high school does not have a traditional library space; Instead, it has collections of books across the building, whether in breakout spaces or teachers’ classrooms.
The book was never part of any classroom reading assignments.
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