KAYSVILLE — A book about two lesbians who raise children in a “non-traditional household” has been removed from the shelves of elementary school libraries in Davis County after a group of parents complained.
“In Our Mothers’ House,” by Patricia Polacco, remains accessible behind the counter only to students who bring a signed permission slip from their parents to check it out, Davis School District spokesman Chris Williams said.
“We understand that there’s diversity out there. And we understand that not everyone comes from the same background, not everyone may be a native of this area, and they could come from different countries,” Williams said.
DaNae Leu, a media specialist at Snow Horse Elementary School in Kaysville, said the controversy has prompted the district to ask librarians to supply names of other books that contain gay or lesbian characters.
Also targeted for removal are “And Tango Makes Three,” a book about two male penguins who sit on an egg until it hatches, and “Totally Joe,” a book about a gay teenager.
“I feel like Joe McCarthy is asking me to name names,” Leu said of administrators’ request to identify other books that parents might find objectionable.
She said some librarians believe the decision to pull “In our Mothers’ House” from the shelves sets a precedent of letting parents call the shots on what material should be allowed in school libraries.
“Ethically, I don’t feel right about it. I feel like the book is age-appropriate,” Leu said. “I feel that history is not going to look favorably on this. In 20 years, we’re going to look and think, ‘how could we ever have thought that?’ ”
But Williams said state law prohibits curriculum that advocates homosexuality.
The controversy began in January after the mother of a kindergarten student at Windridge Elementary in Kaysville became upset when the child checked out the book and brought it home. The mother worked with other parents to remove the book from library shelves because they thought it promoted a gay marriage agenda.
A district committee, comprised of teachers, administrators and parents, voted 6-1 on April 30 to keep the book off shelves after deciding that it didn’t align with district curriculum standards.