KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Students in the North Kansas City School District are pushing back on attempts to remove books from school libraries.
This started when the district removed two LGBTQ-themed books from school libraries after members of the Northland Parent Association, a group that formed in opposition to mask mandates in schools, complained at an October board meeting.
Those books have since been returned.
But, 10 students spoke at Monday night's school board meeting to make it clear they will fight to protect those books and others, noting the NPA doesn't speak for them.
"The people you hear from do not represent us, they are the vocal minority!" one student said.
"Books don't corrupt the mind, ignorance and intolerance is what corrupts students," another student said at the board meeting.
"If students are old enough to be subjected to sexual assault and harassment, we're old enough to read about it," another female student declared.
"These kinds of books let students know they're not alone," shared a student who said as an Asian American, it's important to read books that explore diversity and the challenges minority communities can face.
Those students who spoke said many of these books offer much-needed representation for minority groups, including the LGBTQ+ community.
They also argued reading about the struggles of others helps to teach students empathy.
No decisions were made at this meeting, it was just a chance for students to make their voices heard.
According to the Associated Press, the district did say "it's reviewing its book selection and removal process," and will allow parents to sign a form to prevent students from checking out certain books.