COBB COUNTY, Ga. - The Cobb County School District has pulled two books from its school libraries. School officials emailed parents saying the content is "highly inappropriate and sexually explicit."
One of the books is "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl." It includes profanity and sexual content.
The other book is "Flamer." The main character is a boy who may be gay, and is struggling with self-hate. On the author's website, the recommended reading age for "Flamer" is 14-plus, or with adult guidance.
School officials say at least one of the books was found in 20 school libraries.
A district spokesperson sent the following statement:
"Earlier this week, we learned 20 school libraries contained one or two books ("Flamer" and/or "Me and Earl and the dying girl") with highly inappropriate, sexually explicit content. We removed the books immediately, are in an ongoing investigation, and are committed to ensuring our students are taught with content in line with Georgia standards, Board policy, and the Law."
Some parents appreciate the school taking action.
"If it's culturally or politically divisive, if it's specifically about gay or trans and issues sensitive to some religious cultures, that's why we have the Georgia laws in place. Schools should be a safe neutral setting. Let parents do the parenting," said Rebecca Ivanov.
Others say the books should have stayed on the shelves.
"It's censorship by pulling books off the library shelves that might cause panic, or somebody might be upset about. It is not up to anyone else to decide what my child can read," said Jessica Bergeron.
Laura Judge who is running for the school board says she's heard from parents on both sides who want answers.
"What policy was the district following to remove this book?" Judge asked. "I also ask ‘How long has the book been on the shelves in our schools?’"
Most parents couldn't help but notice that all this comes just a week after a Cobb County teacher was fired for reading a book about gender identity to her fifth grade class.