At a school board meeting in Minnesota’s Sartell St. Stephen School District, a frustrated mother stood up and read some passages from an adult gay romance novel called “Him” that is available in the district’s schools for viewing and to be checked out. The book was so sexually explicit that it left the board members stunned.

The book “Him” is by Sarina Bowen and describes, in graphic detail, sexual encounters between two young men. In its preview excerpt, the book issues a light-hearted warning that significantly downplays its X-rated content.

It says, Warning: contains sexual situations, hotties on hockey skates, skinny-dipping, shenanigans in an SUV and proof that coming out to your family on social media is a dicey proposition.”

After becoming aware of the book’s presence in the school library, a parent from the group “Kids Over Politics 748” took it to the board meeting and read some of its pornographic scenes that made all the adults in the room uncomfortable.

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“I want to know how and why this book was ever allowed in our school, more specifically, that process that was just discussed on how books are approved,” the mother said, before diving into the incredibly graphic book.

After reading a scene from the book that contained highly-detailed descriptions of a gay sex scene and repeatedly contained explicit language, the woman addressed the board members, saying, “I hope these examples serve as a wake-up call to many other parents and community members in this district. And let me ask you again: Who, how, where, and why?”

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“What are we teaching our children?” asked one of the board members, Jen Smith. “I’m sorry, now I’m upset.”

“It’s a material for learning and teaching for that process… That can’t be a book for learning and teaching in our school,” said board member Emily Larson.

Superintendent Jeff Ridlehoover tried to argue that there is a “process” that has to be followed before the book can be removed from the district’s shelves.

Smith cut in, asking, “If we have a pipe that bursts in our cafeteria, is there a process that we have to follow, or are you gonna turn that water off on your own?”

Larson added, “What was read was disgusting. I have never felt so uncomfortable my entire life. Never again will I ever want to hear any of that as an adult. It should be as simple as go get the book.”

“And we do have an internet policy,” Smith chimed in. “I mean, maybe we should just open the internet for a free-for-all. I mean, we have a how-to step-by-step, why not have the video to go along with it?”

Larson then called for the board to view this case as being “above” their so-called process and just take it off the shelves. She also expressed her disappointment that this book was ever approved to be put on the shelves of the schools within their district.

Board member Scott Wenshau then asked Ridlehoover if, as the superintendent, he could pull the book from the shelves until they are able to have a separate discussion about the issue and follow his “process.”

“Just pull the book,” said Smith, clearly frustrated. “There doesn’t need to be a process for you to pull out a hardcore pornography book… Just pull the book and then we can discuss it.”

Although the superintendent seemed reluctant to address the book during the meeting, he ultimately agreed to remove the book from the district due to its inappropriate nature.


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