LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) — Two books are being pulled from high school libraries in Wilson County.
On Monday night during a school board meeting, concerned parents said that the novel Tricks centered around prostitution while Jack of Hearts explores sexual orientation.
The majority of Wilson County School Board members said they are not appropriate for high schoolers.
School board members acknowledged that exploring sexuality, prostitution and drugs are the driving storylines.
“How do we allow content of this nature in the library full of children? They are just kids they are minors, not adults,” Gregory Hohman said.
Hohman said he picked up both books and later passed out graphic excerpts at Monday night’s school board meeting.
“Why are these books that contain this kind of advert sexual content within the walls of a children’s library?” Hohman said during public comment Monday night.
However, not everyone agrees on the removal.
“Banning these books and telling kids it is wrong will make them feel ashamed, especially queer kids,” Jessica Smith said during public comment Monday night.
News 2 spoke with Sarah Moore, a former Wilson County educator and mother, who said she is against the removal of the books.
“To me it’s bothersome that a small group of the school board is going to make a decision for all of the parents of Wilson County and say ‘no we are not going to make this accessible,’ where that right was already with the parents. It’s not like these kids just had access to these books that some might find questionable,” Moore said.
On Monday night, the book committee review recommended that both books stay on the “mature reading list” which requires parents to be notified if their child would like to check out the book. However, a motion was made to remove them both altogether.
“If somebody reads those books and just divorces themselves from anything else and asks themselves is this appropriate for children to read?” Hohman said.
“Literature and music is where teenagers can find if someone else thinks like them. It hurts me that they are taking this away,” Moore said.
According to the Wilson County Book Committee review, only one or two copies were on the shelves at Mt. Juliet and Green Hill High School, and only one book has been checked out.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is expected to be on the agenda next month. The next Wilson County School Board meeting is set for Jan. 9, 2023.