Goddard School District Orders Removal Of 29 Pounds From Circulation

A list of books withdrawn from circulation in Goddard school libraries includes novels by Margaret Atwood and Toni Morrison. (Suzanne Perez / KMUW)

GODDARD, Kansas (Kansas News Service) – A Kansas school district has stripped its library shelves of more than two dozen books that have been challenged in other school systems as it reviews them.

KMUW-FM reports that Julie Cannizzo, assistant superintendent of academic affairs at Goddard, said on Tuesday that a parent objected to language he found offensive in “The Hate U Give,” a novel about the aftermath of a policeman killing black teenage boy.

The parent then submitted a list of books that he surveyed, and district officials agreed to shut down the boxes and conduct a review.

Cannizzo emailed principals and librarians last week with the list of 29 books.

“At this time, the district is not in a position to know whether or not the books in this list meet our educational goals,” Cannizzo wrote in the email. “In addition, we need to better understand the processes used to select books for our school libraries.

“For these reasons, please do not allow these books to be checked out while we are collecting more information. If a book on this list is currently checked out, please (do not) allow it to be checked out again once it is returned.

Cannizzo said in the email that the district is convening a committee to “assess the content of the books on the list” and to review the selection process. She did not say how long the process is expected to take.

“We’re not banning these books or anything like that as a district,” she said. “It has just been brought to our attention that this list of books may have content which is not suitable for children.”

Cannizzo said she plans to meet with school librarians this week. She wouldn’t say when or if the books would be put back into circulation.

“We haven’t even rated these books,” she said. “I couldn’t even tell you what’s in these books or why someone might or might not find them offensive.”

Here is the list of books ordered to be taken out of circulation at Goddard school libraries:

“#MurderTrending” by Gretchen McNeil

George M. Johnson’s “Not All Boys Are Blue”

“Anger is a gift” by Mark Oshiro

“Black Girl Unlimited” by Echo Brown

“Mixed” by Sharon M. Draper

Ellen Hopkins’ “Crank”

“Fences” by August Wilson

“Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” by Alison Bechdel

“Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe

“Heavy” by Kiese Laymon

Jonathan Evison’s “Lawn Boy”

“Lily and Dunkin” by Donna Gephart

Elizabeth Scott’s “Living Dead Girl”

“Monday Doesn’t Happen” by Tiffany D. Jackson

Ashley Hope Perez’s “Out of Darkness”

“Satanism” by Tamara L. Roeff

“Bus 57: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Life-Changing Crime” by Dashka Slater

“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie

“The bluest eye” by Toni Morrison

“The Girl Who Fell From Heaven” by Heidi W. Durrow

“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

“The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel” adapted by Renee Nault

“The Hatred You Give” by Angie Thomas

“The Benefits of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky

“The Testaments” by Margaret Atwood

“They called themselves the KKK: the birth of an American terrorist group” by Susan Campbell Bertoletti

“This Book is Gay” by James Dawson

“This One Summer” (graphic novel) by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

“Transmission: my quest for a beard” by Alex Bertie

Suzanne Perez reports on education for KMUW in Wichita and the Kansas News Service. You can follow her on Twitter @SuzPerezICT.

The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW, and High Plains Public Radio focused on health, the social determinants of health and how they relate to public policy.

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