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Cobb County school district removes books from shelves, citing inappropriate content

Between Parents Podcast

Georgia’s second largest school district has decided to remove 2 books from its library shelves. 20 libraries in the Cobb County school district have removed “Flamer” by Mike Curato and “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews for containing material the district deems inappropriate.

Book removals have increased in recent years as the discussion of what is appropriate for students and teachers to read has become more prevalent. A few days ago, the Cobb County school board voted to fire a fifth grade teacher, Katie Rinderle, for reading a book that discussed gender fluidity to her students.

In an electronic message sent to some Cobb County parents, the district said, “With thousands of books purchased over decades, we are making every effort to ensure our library only includes materials that are aligned to Georgia standards, supported by law and CCSD policy, and contain content that is age appropriate for our students.”

Jeff Hubbard, president of the Cobb County Association of Educators, said morale in Cobb County has been affected by the book removals and the firing of Katie Rinderle, calling the district's actions a “train wreck”.

In 2022, nearby Forsyth County removed eight books from school library shelves. However, seven of those books were put back after pushback.

“Flamer” is a graphic novel that describes a young boy’s experience with being gay and attending summer camp, while “Me and Earl and the Dying Girls” deals frankly with teenage sexuality.

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