Smutty Book Task Force
Help us read potentially inappropriate books in GHAPS libraries.
There are many ways citizens of Grand Haven can get involved to change the future trajectory of our community. One easy way to participate is to read books flagged as potentially inappropriate which are available to children in the school libraries. Become part of the Smutty Book Task Force.
Below is a list of over 300 potentially inappropriate books that are in GHAPS libraries. The list of books is sorted by school and was compiled from a combination of sources. The main source was a list of books from Texas State representative Matt Krause, but also includes books recommended by the Zinn Project, and from internet news articles. All of the books are in GHAPS libraries.
The plan is to start going through the books one-by-one. We would like the school to rate books like movies, restrict access to books that may be helpful to some children, but disturbing to most. Books should be rated based on sexually explicit content, violence, drug and alcohol use, and intent to persuade children towards a particular point of view regarding controversial topics. We also want the school to REQUIRE parental permission before children have access to books in these categories.
GHAPS administrators are reluctant to take action on inappropriate library books as it is a monumental task, and it is not being directed from the state or federal government, but requested by parents who don't want their children exposed to material that has the potential to harm them. The school will act once enough pressure is put on them from the community. Thank you so much for helping with this effort.
As you read, keep notes of page numbers and quotes that you think are inappropriate. If you finish a book and think it contains age inappropriate topics, the first step is to contact the school librarian and/or principal by email and ask more questions about the book. You can tell them you read it and think it should be reconsidered for inclusion in the school library.
Then wait for a response. If they disagree with you and say it is appropriate, which is very likely, then you can email Mary Jane Evink, the GHAPS Curriculum Director, with the same questions. After she says it’s appropriate then you can email the board and/or give a speech at a school board meeting about the book. If they don't do anything, which is likely, we can write about the book and post it on Substack along with any quotes from school officials. This will result in more public pressure and motivate GHAPS to act.
It is your choice whether or not to go through all of these steps, but the more people that do, the more pressure it will put on the school to restrict access to books with mature content, require parental permission BEFORE kids read the books, and to create a rating system.
You can look through the list and select any book you want to read. If more than one person reads the same book and finds it inappropriate, that is just more reason for the school to make a change with that particular book.
These are books we have written about that we believe should REQUIRE parental consent and/or a rating before children have access.
Some Girls Bind
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda
After review, GHAPS removed the following two books from school libraries because they determined them to be age inappropriate for all levels.
The high school’s copy of the Infinite Moment of Us was lost when it was brought to the board’s attention that the book is inappropriate. They decided not to replace the lost copy.
Queer: A Graphic History was not removed after a parent spoke at a school board meeting and had two subsequent meetings with the Director of Instructional Services Mary Jane Evink, Middle School Librarian Sarah McElrath and High School Librarian Dana Ryder. All of these GHAPS administrators agreed that the book was appropriate for the school library. A few weeks later however, an unidentified third party librarian who had many years of experience and multiple degrees in education told the same school administrators that the book was inappropriate. When this third librarian agreed with the parent who complained, the book was removed from the high school library.
Again, thank you so much for helping with this effort. Thanks for reading.