Gender Queer: Gay man thrown out of school board meeting for reading vulgar passage

The sexualized book first raised questions after being found on the bookshelves of the Keller Independent School District


                            Gender Queer: Gay man thrown out of school board meeting for reading vulgar passage
Jacob Engels was removed from an Orange County School Board meeting (Twitter/ @gratefulAC19)
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ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA: A man was removed from a school board meeting in Florida after he read excerpts from a book available for high school students in the district's libraries. The sexualized book is ‘Gender Queer: A memoir’ by Maia Kobabe, which talks about LGBTQ sex.

It first raised questions after being found on the bookshelves of the Keller Independent School District by a furious mother, who then took to social media to express her anger. However, the recent incident reportedly happened at an Orange County School Board meeting, where chair Teresa Jacobs asked cops to remove Jacob Engels after he read the vulgar passage.

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Engels was heard saying in a video taken during the meeting, “I'm going to read a passage of a book that's floating around in your schools that has been banned from many other schools. As a member of the LGBT community, the fact that this is floating around for children as young as ninth grade is concerning.”

The 27-year-old gay man then went on to say, “Fast forward, we've been dating for two months. We've made out. We've had sex. We moved down the sex thing at work…” while he was interrupted by Jacobs, “Sir, I appreciate…” But Engels ignored her and continued, “I'd like to continue reading,” before mentioning a more detailed sexual encounter from the book.

But Jacobs added, “Mr Engels, you're out of order. Remove him from the chambers.” Other parents protested and Alicia Farrant, a member of Moms For Liberty and the person who took the video of the incident, said: “No way”. Later, Jacobs tried to defend herself by saying, “I understand that book is in the classroom, and the language he just read is inappropriate for this forum. … I understand the contradiction here. This is the first time I’ve heard of this and the board has heard of this. We will look into it, and I do hope the book is removed. OK? And if not, we’ll be back here having this conversation again, but I can guarantee you, I did not know that book was in the library.”

Orange County Public Schools, however, took measures after the meeting. In a statement, OCPS Director of Media Relations Shari Bobinski said, “Four copies of the book 'Gender Queer' were in three of our 22 high schools. The School Board was unaware this book was available in school media centers. At this time, the book is not on library shelves and is under review. If anyone has a concern about materials or books found in our media centers or in our classrooms, Orange County Public Schools has a process in place for parents or guardians to submit a form to the school principal to address a concern.”

Meanwhile, the video of Engels reading the passage has gone viral on the internet. Reacting to it, a user tweeted, “I'd be absolutely horrified and disgusted if I were a parent and found out that my kids were being exposed to this crap!” The second one commented, “High on power. Reprimanding and removing parents for trying to make them aware. Unbelievable.”

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“I don't understand why a school board would silence a tax paying parent that is concerned with the vulgar language in a book and got treated like a criminal. Anybody who spoke up got silenced. Speechless,” a person wondered.


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