Osceola County parents say inappropriate book needs to be removed from school library

Some parents want a book removed from Osceola County public school libraries, saying it's inappropriate.

Retired teacher Vanessa Bryant says she was surprised to find out that a book, called Lawn Boy, is available at Harmony High School. 

"The ‘F-word’ is more popular than A, N, and D. It’s throughout this book – filthy, four-letter words. As a teacher for 35 years, I would never allow that." 

Parents around the country have criticized the book, which goes into a boy’s sexual relationship with another boy. 

"I know there are library books throughout our district that refer to LGBTQ and gender. So I just don’t think that’s appropriate for our children. It’s not education."

"I don’t think teaching kids about LGBT is sexualizing them at all," says Tommi Pritchett, the Director of the LGBT Center in Kissimmee. 

While she wasn’t aware of Lawn Boy, she says learning about LGBTQ in schools is a good idea. 

"Children struggle with those feelings and thoughts and they don’t know how to express it. And so for them, it’s important to know that there are people like them."

The Osceola County School Board explained to parents at Wednesday night’s meeting that there’s a process to remove books if they think they’re inappropriate. 

Lessons about LGBTQ fall under Critical Race Theory, or CRT, which was banned by Governor Ron DeSantis. School Board member Jon Arguello says it's still happening under a different name. 

"The district is saying there’s nothing to see here, but clearly, there’s something being read that’s disturbing to parents."

Regarding the discussion about race, inclusion, and diversity, Pritchett says, "I think those are really difficult but important topics to discuss no matter what age someone is." 

But Bryant disagrees.

"Reading, writing, math, history – that’s what we need to be teaching. We don’t need to be teaching gender identity." 

She and other parents plan to follow the process to have the book removed from school libraries.

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