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Sexually explicit book permanently removed from school library, others under review

CBS12 News is looking into claims of pornographic books in local school libraries within the Indian River County School District after a group of moms took their concerns to the superintendent and school board.

“The first thing I thought was oh my goodness, I hope that my children have never picked up and read these books,” said Jennifer Pippin. "This is absolutely wrong in so many ways and we have to fix this."

While one book was permanently removed from a high school library, 27 additional others have been temporarily pulled from school shelves and are now under review.

CBS12 News obtained a list that shows the so-called inappropriate novels that were flagged by Moms for Liberty Indian River County, a watchdog group led by Pippin.

Concerned parents say those books contain pornographic passages, vulgar language, drug references, and racial slurs—all things they believe are inappropriate for school-age children.

"Why would they put this book in the hands of children," asked Pippins. "There is nothing that they’re gaining educationally from this. It’s scary. It’s sad. It’s extremely sexually explicit.”

The book, All Boys Aren’t Blue, is considered so sexually explicit that the Indian River County School District removed it permanently. In the book, which is formatted in a series of personal essays, a prominent journalist and LGBTQIA activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood and adolescence while discovering his sexual identity.

Some moms couldn’t believe the vulgar book was in arms-reach of students, in the first place.

Assistant Superintendent Richard Myrhe tells CBS12 News that the book in question was part of a bulk book purchase and should have been individually reviewed, as books normally are.

“You know there was a process in place to make sure this didn’t happen, unfortunately, it wasn’t followed in this one instance," said Myrhe. "But moving forward, we definitely are going to take a look at everything and be prepared to act swiftly.”

Superintendent Dr. David Moore confirmed the review of questionable books during a recent Facebook Live. He said a decision of the pending books will be announced in the "coming days."