MARIETTA, Ga. - Marietta City Schools now taking a closer look at which books are on school library shelves. The district has already removed two books that contain "sexually explicit" content.
Marietta City Schools is just the latest to pull the books, and media specialists believe other districts will do the same.
Todd Cates is on the advocacy committee with the Georgia Library Media Association. He’s also a media specialist at Apalachee High School. He says in recent years, book challenges have become more prevalent.
"We’ve become much more divisive politically. I think we’re going to see more of this," said Cates.
Cates says he’s not surprised another school district, this time Marietta City Schools, has removed two books, "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" by Jesse Andres and "Flamer" by Mike Curato because they contain sexually explicit content.
"Books that came to light that some people thought weren’t appropriate for that age group," said Jeff DeJarnett, Vice-Chair of the Marietta City Schools Board of Education.
Tuesday night, Marietta City Schools board members passed a directive that will outline a review process of all books in the district. That’s an estimated 20,000 books. Parents, staff and students will be allowed to challenge a decision on whether a book should or should not be removed from the schools.
"Once we knew those titles were there, we felt like it’s up to us to do our due diligence and see if there are any others that might be the same," said DeJarnett.
Cates says as a media specialist he chooses books that meet the diverse needs of the students. He adds parents always have a right to determine what their children are reading.
"We already have good selection policies in place at every school in the state. If a parent said I don’t want my child reading that book, I’ll gladly work with the parent to make sure their child doesn’t check out that book," said Cates.