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Book banned, others removed from Indian River County school libraries

Mother's group concerned about books they believe violates state's pornography statutes
Posted at 6:03 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 18:03:09-05

VERO BEACH, Fla. — Community concerns over what's in the shelves at some school libraries have led to the temporary removal of a handful of books in Indian River County, and one book was permanently removed.

Tuesday night, the school district will talk about whether the superintendent should conduct a full assessment of school libraries and media centers.

Jennifer Pippin recently heard a mom in Pennsylvania read aloud a passage from the book "All Boys Aren't Blue" at a school board meeting, and it got her attention.

"I said, 'We need to look and see if these books are in our school district,'" said Pippin.

The book's author, George M. Johnson, an LGBTQ activist, describes discovering his sexual identity as an adolescent.

'All Boys Aren't Blue' banned from Indian River County school libraries
The book "All Boys Aren't Blue" has already been banned from Indian River County school libraries.

His story received many accolades upon its release last year, but Pippin was dismayed to discover it was in a high school library in Indian River County, one of many books she said is in violation of the state's pornography statutes.

"We found these books that have incest, pedophilia, sexually explicit pictures, sexually explicit text," said Pippin.

Her group, Moms for Liberty, brought a list of books to the attention of the school district.

"We're not burning books," said Pippin. "We're following the state statutes that were written to protect children."

In a recent Facebook post, Superintendent Dr. David Moore said a group of 28 books have been removed from circulation while a formal review is being done.

"All Boys Aren't Blue" was removed permanently.

Jennifer Pippin, wants books removed from Indian River County school libraries
"We're not burning books," Jennifer Pippin says of her crusade to do away with certain books from Indian River County school libraries.

Community activist Michael Marsh said everyone can agree that there shouldn't be pornography in schools, but some of the books in question aren't new.

"Why is there a problem now? When did they enter the school district?" said Marsh. "These books didn't come in yesterday. These books have been here. But now, all of a sudden, 'Ooh, books scary.'"

Pippin said she has two teens in the school system and adds her kids have not been exposed to anything inappropriate at school. She hopes it stays that way.

"If adults want their children to read this, they can order them from Amazon, Barnes & Noble," said Pippin. "I know that they're in the public library, a lot of these titles."

A district spokeswoman told WPTV the removed book had never been checked out from Vero Beach High School.

"We brought it to the attention of the school district, the superintendent, the school district, and they're taking care of it," said Marsh. "So at what point is enough enough?"

There is no word on when the fates of the other books will be decided, but before any are returned, they'll have to be approved by the district media center specialist and the school principal.