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Salina high schools to keep book challenged by parents

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Posted at 2:39 PM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 15:39:27-05

SALINA, Kan. — A special committee has recommended that Salina Public Schools keep a book that was challenged by parents because of its content.

In early February, three parents lodged formal complaints about George M. Johnson's memoir "All Boys Aren't Blue," which was acquired by Salina's South High School and Central High School in 2020.

Following the board's policy, a review committee read the book and determined it should not be banned, the district announced Monday.

The committee acknowledged the book contains some scenes describing sexual activity that could make readers uncomfortable but said it has merit as a literary work.

The book's author is gay and Black. The committee said some of the book's themes could be affirming for some students, The Salina Journal reported.

Jessica Henton, one of the parents who complained, said she was glad Johnson felt comfortable sharing his experiences with people.

"However, I feel he could have omitted the pornographically explicit content when deciding to have a target audience of 14- to 18-year-olds," Henton said.

Challengers who are dissatisfied with the decision may appeal, and a district-wide review committee would then evaluate the book.