KPS addresses LGBTQ+ books controversy following board meeting drama

A handful of people showed up to the KPS board meeting Tuesday to voice their opinions on the LGBTQ+ books in school district libraries.
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 9:48 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - Controversy filled the air during Monday night’s Kearney Public School board meeting.

A handful of people showed up to voice their opinions on how some schools in the district offer up LGBTQ+ books in their library.

More than half of the people who spoke during the public participation said they wanted to see the books leave the district.

The district has offered these types of books to its students for a couple years now, but it wasn’t until recently when former U.S Senate Candidate Matt Innis brought attention to the books during a radio interview. Following the interview, many came forward, wanting to see these books to be removed from school shelves.

A total of 10 people spoke last night, including parents and grandparents of students in KPS — many filled with frustration.

“There’s people who feel like there should be greater restriction on students and their ability and what they can read and what they have access to and then, there’s other who say this is an appropriate time and place, most of the time these books are in the high school level and the high school library and so, parents -- generally speaking-- there’s many that say that’s an appropriate time for a high school student to start to read books that they’d like to read,” said KPS Superintendent Jason Mundorf.

Some frustrated speakers last night even read excerpts from one of the books offered in the high school library.

Mundorf said the district has taken the correct actions in response to the disapproval.

“We feel that we’ve done a good job of also respecting our parents,” he noted. “We give them the opportunity to say, ‘I’d like to know what my students are checking out,’ or, ‘I don’t.’ So, we know that that’s an important piece, and we believe in our parents having that voice and we’re glad they want to.”

Mundorf added, the school board has already established certain policies which allow people to contest any book within their district’s libraries. However, he said no one has ever taken those steps.

Parents are also allowed to ask the schools to notify them what books their child in the district has checked out.