Troy schools to review transgender-themed library books


By Matt Clevenger

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TROY — Members of the Troy City Schools Board of Education discussed the district’s policy for reviewing school library materials during their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, June 12, responding to public comments questioning the appropriateness of several transgender-themed books in the Troy High School, Troy Junior High and Van Cleve school libraries.

“I come here with other parents in mind, that have the same concerns,” a citizen identified as Mr. Ike said during the public comment portion of the meeting. “I am submitting requests for review of nine books in the high school, junior high and Van Cleve libraries.”

Books on the list include “Freakboy,” “Being Jazz: My Life as a Transgender Teen,” “Pumpkin: this Year’s Prom is a Drag” and “Middle School’s a Drag, You’d Better Werk,” among others.

“This is a fictional story that promotes drag queen performances as something for 12 and 13-year-olds to aspire to, and to do at their school talent shows,” Ike said.

Seven of the books are currently in the Troy High School library; one can be found in the junior high school library and another one can be found in the Van Cleve library, Ike said.

Ike said he has filed formal requests for each book to be reviewed.

“I turned in a 9131 for each of the books,” he said. “I look forward to your review of these books.”

“There’s a process of review,” Assistant Superintendent Dr. Michael Moore said. “We go through the materials; throughout the course of the review, there’s recommendations made on should it remain appropriate at certain developmental age levels.”

The district’s policy also requires a follow-up to be conducted with the petitioner filing the request, after the review is complete.

“There’s a follow-up communication as well,” Moore said.

In other business, board members also formally approved a resolution authorizing the district’s participation in Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) funding for the possible construction of four new school buildings.

“This was amended with the corrections that we requested from the OFCC,” District Treasurer Jeff Price said. “The OFCC controlling board will approve it sometime in July; we don’t have the exact date.”

Board members will discuss the building and levy plans at a special meeting planned for Friday, June 30, and at their next regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, July 10.

“Right now, the intent is to do the first-step resolution at our special meeting on June 30, and ask for Miami County certification, and then the second-step resolution directing us to file with the board of elections at our regular meeting on July 10,” Price said.

“We’re going to have a further discussion on the building locations,” Board President Sue Borchers said. “We also want to talk about what committees we want to put in place to support the levy.”

“We really have to hit the ground running very quickly here,” she said. “We will have to start spreading the message even before the school year starts, because we want to try to build a campaign to help to educate the community on locations and the schools, and also a little bit historically in regards to our current buildings.”

In other business, board members also approved the upcoming boys’ basketball trip to New Philadelphia, from June 14 through June 16, and an annual resolution to officially close the district’s fiscal year.

“We continue to track very well,” Price said. “With the mild winter, that helped, and with us belonging to the southwest EBC Consortium for Natural Gas and Electric Purchasing co-op, that has helped us financially.”

“We are probably paying thirty to thirty-five percent of today’s going rate, because we pre-contracted and pre-purchased,” he said.

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