Elementary School Bans Book About Lesbian Moms (But Real-Life Lesbian Couple Gets to Stay)

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In Our Mothers HouseOn a scale of one to stupid, I tend to rate book banners on the idiot end. And officials at Utah's Davis School District are right near the top. They've taken a book about a kid with two moms from their school library shelves and hidden it away.

In Our Mothers' House won't be taken out by a kindergartner anytime soon. Too bad the student whose two moms inspired the librarian to stock the book in the first place can't get put behind the counter too! Oops! Turns out the silly censors aren't as smart as they thought they were! Guess you can't hide everything you're uncomfortable with from kids, huh?

Here's a quick lesson for you: if you don't want your kid learning about something, you might want to look around their everyday life and check to see if it already exists before you start fretting about books on the subject. You might find out your kids are already pretty savvy on the subject; I dare say even smarter than you are.

I know the book banning types don't like to admit this, but our kids are nosy little buggers. The more we want them not to hear something, the more likely they are to hear it. The more we want them not to see something, the more likely they are to see it. And when it's right there, in their face, that goes double. So just because they don't see lesbian moms (or the side-view of a nipple ... which is what once got Where's Waldo? booted from a library) in a book doesn't mean they aren't going to see them, like ... ever.

The irony is that approaching a so-called difficult subject through a book is usually EASIER for kids. Think about what you did when the dog died/you were expecting a new baby/you were getting a divorce/etc. You got a book, right? Because breaking kids in via an abstract method is a stepping stone to the real thing. It's a safe space to begin conversation.

But hey, if you'd rather pretend that nobody on this planet has two moms, you go ahead with that. But good luck figuring out what to say when your kid starts enthusing about Sally's awesome moms who make the best cupcakes for snack time. Maybe the folks at Davis could give you some hints?

Or you could pick up a copy of In Our Mothers' House by Patricia Polacco and be prepared for the questions. I hear there's an extra copy just sitting around behind the counter of the library at a certain school in Utah at the moment.

What kind of difficult subjects have you tackled with your kids with the help of a book?


Image via Barnes & Noble 

books & media, independence


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nonmember avatar A

Just because something exists, doesn't mean I want my kid to read about out in elementary school.

Yeah, gay couples have kids. I'm not going to hide that from my kid, out voice my opinion about it to him.

When he can read a book on his own, I don't want out to be about lesbians.

Our generation had gay parents in our society too. We just didn't celebrate it and flaunt it. I'm pretty sure my librarian growing up would have shit bricks at the sight of this book.

I miss the simpler times, when people were allowed to have an opinion about things.

Flori... Floridamom96

The book wasn't banned! What a LIE! The school district simply put it behind the counter rather than on a shelf. Don't lie about what's actually happening just to get more people to read your blog. 

butte... butterflyfreak

Just a note to all who read this, make sure you read the linked article. This book is still available for the children to check out, if they have a permission slip from their parents. I say this as Ms Sager makes it sound like they have removed it completely and that is simply not true.

I don't agree with the district's decision, but we can blame the parents who were offended by it. The decision was reached because there is a STATE LAW that forbids schools from carrying books that "advocate" homosexuality. I don't agree that a book talking about a FAMILY is advocating it, per se. But, come on, who's really surprised when we're talking about Utah. Home state of the Mormons, who are right up there with Catholics in the belief that homosexuality is wrong.

orang... orangetree

I will be buying this book since my daughter always talks about her friend's 2 dads.

Todd Vrancic

The author does no favors to her cause if she is not accurate in her facts.

nonmember avatar Emily

I read the article, and I still disagree with what happened.

bills... billsfan1104

Is wasnt banned. I think that it is ok for the book to be put behind the counter. Not all people agree with gay adoption and some people feel that their children are too young to be taught those things.

Why cant we all be respectful of each other and understand that there are differences and it doesnt mean people are hateful.

i also thibk the author should stop LYING to further her cause.

Torra... TorranceMom

Thanks clever and competent readers for helping Ms. Sager. I'm sure she let that part about the book being available to students who had their parents' permission out on accident. ;)

butte... butterflymkm

Reacting to the actual question here, yes, I've used books to help with situations with my DD. we used a book or two for potty training and a book about Daddy being a hero to explain why daddy goes away for a long time sometimes for his soldier job. And when I was a kid, I loved reading 'taboo' books like those by Judy Blume. They helped answer questions I was too shy to ask and made me feel not so alone. I don't support the 'back shelving' or banning of ANY book. Books are knowledge. I wonder if this school keeps the Bible behind the counter and requires permission slips to read it....that book sure has a lot of murder, blood, rape, and sexual acts in it just to name a few touchy subjects.

SashN... SashNicole

Even if it wasn't banned, it's still discrimination to hide from the students. What harm is it going to do? At the worst and best it will get kids engaged with different people and encourage questions about what they don't understand. I can't fathom missing an opportunity to teach kids everything about the people and things around them.

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