Parents’ rights group alarmed school librarian promoted book containing sexually graphic content

A parents’ rights group is raising the alarm after a Springfield school librarian’s promotion of a controversial book was highlighted by a Twitter feed with 1.4 million followers.

The Twitter user LibsofTikTok recently shared a TikTok video from a Springfield high school librarian promoting the graphic novel “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe.

“People who are questioning their sexual identity and their gender identity are going to view this book as a mirror, a reflective experience of their own and this book is also a great window for those who want to understand that perspective,” TikTok user arkenne90 said.

The account has since gone private but the video of the book’s promotion remains on the LibsofTikTok Twitter account, where it’s been viewed more than 161,400 times.

“It’s a wonderful story about someone who is finding out who they are and embracing it,” the librarian said of the book. “And, I love that there are resources and it’s super educational … You can come check out a copy here from the library.”

LibsofTikTok tagged Springfield School District 186 on Twitter. Neither the district nor the Lanphier High School librarian returned messages to The Center Square seeking comment.

Shannon Adcock, founder of the parents’ rights group Awake Illinois, said public schools are not where such content should be accessible. The book has sexually explicit content, Adcock said, and it goes further.

“It’s not just depicting sex acts, there’s actually a moral to the story which is again teachers to be the champion of gender ideology and sexuality to their classroom,” Adcock told The Center Square.

Adcock said there are ways to have discussions with minors in public schools experiencing gender dysphoria, but open access and promotion to sexually explicit material is not the way.

“Teachers for a long time have been educated on how to help students who may be struggling, but that conversation has really trumped the parents and has cut parents out of the conversation, which has many communities worried,” Adcock said.