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McLean County Unit 5 school district hears opinions on LGBTQ book in library

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The school board of McLean County Unit 5 heard opinions on keeping the book “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabein high school libraries.

WMBD-TV reported that while some supported keeping the book for LGBTQ students, others were opposed to the book’s suggestive material, and language.

Superintendent Dr. Kristen Weikle said students should be able to see themselves and their families in the books they read.

“Library books are not the same as books being taught in the unit 5 curriculum and classroom, as such no student is required in any way to read library books that do not fit with their and their families beliefs, values, or comfort level,” Weikle told the TV station.

The Prairie Pride Coalition (PPC) has written a letter to the school board encouraging the board to keep the book on library shelves.

In the letter, PPC said that it was a small group of people, including some from outside McLean County.

“Kobabe writes with precision and great sensitivity about issues of gender identity, sexual orientation and asexuality,” the group wrote. “At times, eir journey is lonely, painful, and bewildering; these are emotions common to many young people who identify as other than heterosexual and cisgender.”

PPC said that the book is a comfort to LGBTQ youth and a way for the larger community to learn about the LGBTQ experience.

The letter sent by the Prairie Pride Coalition to the Unit 5 School Board. Graphic from Facebook

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