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Hilliard parents raise concerns over book that discusses sexual orientation, LGBTQ topics

Some parents say there are topics that shouldn't be accessible for kids. Others say schools should be a place for students to learn if they have questions.

HILLIARD, Ohio — Some parents at Hilliard City Schools are wanting nearly 40 books removed from the shelves of school libraries, one of them being the book “This Book is Gay” written by Juno Dawson. 

The book talks about sexuality across all sexual orientations. Cynthia Sheets was a parent at the school board Monday evening that wants the book removed.

She said there are topics within the book that shouldn't be accessible for kids.

“These conversations, if had, should be between a parent and a child,” Sheets said.

Other parents, like Asim Farooqui, stand with her. He said they've collected more than 1,200 signatures from community members to ban close to 40 books, including “This Book is Gay”.

"We would like to see those books, the reading material removed, I don't signify that kind of material as books,” said Farooqui.

Meanwhile, there were parents at the meeting that said the book should be in libraries. Sarah Myers said it’s a helpful tool. 

"Because this is the time in their lives when they have questions when they want to know. And reading a book, take a look it's in a book, this is how we learn things,” she said.

Jon Osmundson said schools should be a place for students to learn if they have questions.

"It's a public school, right? I think the more access that we can offer, the better off that we'll all around be,” he said.

A spokesperson with Hilliard City Schools said to challenge a book, a person has to do it through the board policy. That's as simple as sending an email to the district.

A parent can submit a request to the school if there are books they don’t want their child to read.

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