Tulsa Public School Officials Evade Adjudication of Challenged Books
Tulsa Public Schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have removed Gender Queer and Flamer from the district’s school libraries. The books were removed pending a formal review in alignment with the district’s review policy. However, recent media quotes from school officials suggest that the books will not be formally reviewed anytime soon and will remain absent from bookshelves.
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) delivered a letter to the Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education to urge district officials to follow its book challenge procedures and review Gender Queer and Flamer immediately. The importance of all districts following review policies is essential for resolving disputes fairly and efficiently and guarantees that the district’s educational resources serve the needs of all students. Policy guidelines also ensure that school libraries include a broad selection of books representing various viewpoints.
Tulsa Public Schools’ Statement of Vision, Mission, and Beliefs emphasizes the importance of student ownership of their education and the need for students to “feel accepted and supported.” Diverse graphic novels like Gender Queer and Flamer can help to achieve this goal.