Muslim and Christian parents join forces, lead the charge to restrict access to sexually explicit books in school libraries


DEARBORN, MI – Groups of Muslim and Christian parents joined together to restrict access to what they allege are sexually explicit books to their school-aged children.

While the parents were not successful in getting the books removed, they were able to force the board to create a venue to prevent their children from access to the books.

Over the last few months, parents and grandparents across the nation have been fighting against children’s access to books that they believe contain sexually explicit material. This time, the fight occurred in Dearborn, Michigan where Muslims and Christians banded together at a recent school board meeting.

One of the parents who spoke at the meeting was Jeff Saleff who questioned the current policy of allowing any book into public school libraries. Concerned that it was up to parents to prevent access to sexually or otherwise inappropriate books to children, said:

“My biggest concern is why is the burden on the parent to find these books? What happens when the parents don’t read or speak English, why is it on them to opt out, they don’t know what is going on?

“How did these books even end up in our library-I mean these books are really bad. When I am looking at it, I cringe. They don’t belong in the hands of 13, 14, 15-year-old kids.”

Another parent, Ziad Abdalmalik, agreed and urged the school board to remove the controversial books from school libraries instead of just limiting access. He said:

“I understand today that there are certain elements here in this city as well as across the nation that are making baseless claims which are vilifying parents and are making an issue about everything else except protecting young impressionable minds from filth that most adults shy away from or are uncomfortable reading.”

Another parent took to the dais and specifically took issue with the book titled, “This is Gay.” The issue the man had concerned the book providing detailed descriptions of multiple sexual acts and providing suggestions on how to find sexual partners. He said:

“I’m a 43-year-old man, embarrassed to say this stuff, and yet you say it’s OK for this to be in the hands of my children. Shame on you.”

The point that Abdalmalik is making refers to the nature of the majority of those books being LGBTQ-themed.

While those who support access of children to these books claim that the fight is only because they are prejudiced against homosexuals, parents like Abdalmalik argue that their fight is over the sexual descriptions and interactions between young children and adults in the books.

Both sides were able to stand up and give their sides until tensions began to boil over, leading the school board to close down the meeting and reschedule at a larger venue. School board members and the Dearborn Police Chief urged the crowd that everyone could voice their opinions but to do so while acting like adults.

While opponents of the books did not get a complete victory, they were able to get the school board to create a Book Reconsideration Committee whose goal will be to review the content of books brought to their attention and determine if they are age appropriate. Dearborn School Superintendent Glenn Maleyko said:

“We will not promise to remove every book because we know different parents have different opinions about some materials. But we do promise to take the time to reevaluate items parents may be concerned about if they reach out to the media specialist.

“We encourage our parents to work with the district if they have concerns about the age-appropriateness of particular items in our media centers. With nearly 500,000 books in our school libraries, it is possible something slipped in that shouldn’t be there despite our best efforts. The proper procedure to remove books is to bring that title to the attention of the media specialist at your child’s school, so we can begin the Book Challenge process.”

Grandparents pushing to get sexually explicit gay novel removed from Portland schools lose fight

SALEM, OR – Grandparents brought a desperate appeal to a local school board in Salem, Oregon to remove a book that they believe is sexually explicit.

Despite the book’s description of having “erotic gay fan fiction,” the school board believed the book needed to stay in schools.

Mike and Ellie Mallek took issue with a book, Gender Queer, that was in three different local high schools throughout the Salem area because of the sexually explicit material that was contained in the pages.

The couple denies that their concern has anything to do with the homosexual context, but rather it was too mature for children. Mike and Ellie’s complaint read:

“[The book] implies to the student that this type of behavior is completely acceptable and normal. It could lead to a life of pornography addiction and deviant behavior. It could change the student’s future self-image and destroy ambitions.”

Mike and Ellie’s appeal went in front of a group of seven different people which included high school educators, a city librarian, a resident, and the district safety officer.

Those people conducted a review of the book and unanimously determined the book was appropriate for high school students according to the director of strategic initiatives for the Salem-Keizer School District, Suzanne West.

The book was allegedly initially allowed as part of an initiative from the school board to include a wider array of diversity.

After the group made their decision, they released a summary to the Salem Reporter which explained that the sexual depictions in the book are not representative of the entire novel. A portion of the summary:

“This book provides an insightful and respectful viewpoint of some of our marginalized communities. It lifts voices and looks at issues with an appropriate lens.”


Regardless of the board’s decision, Mike still believes the book is not suitable for students. He said:

“Innocent younger children, they’re not of consenting age to make those decisions. It’s almost like grooming them to accept that type of behavior.”

Gender Queer has been at the center of many challenges after the content of the book was seen by parents and caregivers.

All who believe the book should be removed claim that it has nothing to do with the homosexuality in it, but rather the graphic depictions of sex and a picture of what appears to be a young boy touching an older man’s penis.

As one parent, Stacy Langton has said previously:

“What part does pedophilia play in any person who is of a nonconforming gender identity?”


For that answer, the book’s author, Maia Kobabe, did acknowledge that several of the sexually explicit images contained in the book is not appropriate for some children, however, she believes the book is necessary to save lives. Kobabe said:

“It’s very hard to hear people say, ‘This book is not appropriate to young people when it’s like, I was a young person for whom this book would have been not only appropriate but so, so necessary.

There are a lot of people who are questioning their gender, questioning their sexuality, and having a real hard time finding honest accounts of somebody else on the same journey.

There are people for whom this is vital and for whom this could maybe even be lifesaving.”

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